Title:
USER INTERFACE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A user interface for operating an applicator for medical and aesthetic treatment using RF and ultrasound energies, with or without vacuum, comprising: a display, a plurality of views each configured to occupy at least a section of the display, the views adapted to present data responsive to physiological signals, applicator parameters and treatment parameters, a plurality of icons configured to occupy a portion of the views and adapted to designate the content of the views, wherein one of the views provides parameters setting tools, another of the views presents treatment progress, and at least one of the icons can be selected so as to switch the display between the views.



Inventors:
Rosenberg, Avner (Bet Shearim, IL)
Levin, Baruch (Afula, IL)
Bartholomeusz, James (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/199462
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
08/27/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G06F3/048
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SALOMON, PHENUEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH TEMPEL BLAHA LLC (Docketing Department 50 Glenlake Parkway Suite 340, Atlanta, GA, 30328, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A user interface for providing control and monitoring of the operation of an applicator for medical and aesthetic treatment, said applicator incorporating the use of RF and ultrasound energies, the user interface comprising: a display; a plurality of views can be rendered upon the display, each of the plurality of views configured to occupy at least a section of said display, one or more of said plurality of views being adapted to present data responsive to physiological signals obtained from the applicator, applicator parameter settings and treatment parameter settings; a plurality of icons configured to occupy a portion of one or more of said plurality of views and adapted to control the content of said views when actuated; wherein a first of said views provides parameters setting tools, and a second of said views presents treatment progress, and at least one of said icons appearing on said first and second of said views can be selected so as to switch said display between said first and second said views.

2. The user interface of claim 1, additionally comprising an applicator selection view.

3. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said physiological signals comprise signals indicating at least a tissue resistance to RF induced current.

4. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said applicator parameters comprise at least one of an RF power level, an RF electrodes temperature, an ultrasound frequency, an ultrasound time-averaged power, an ultrasound peak power and an ultrasound scan depth.

5. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said treatment parameters comprise at least one of a total treatment time, a treatment progress and an on-line measurements of said physiological signals.

6. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said parameters setting tools operate automatically.

7. The user interface of claim 1 wherein said physiological signals comprise at least one of a tissue RF resistance, a tissue firmness and a fat thickness.

8. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said applicator parameters comprise at least one of a vacuum pressure, an RF power level, an RF temperature, an ultrasound frequency, an ultrasound time-averaged power, an ultrasound peak power and an ultrasound scan depth.

9. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said treatment parameters comprise at least one of a total treatment time, a treatment progress and on-line measurements of said physiological signals.

10. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said parameters setting tools operate automatically.

11. The user interface of claim 1, wherein said applicator includes a vacuum.

12. The user interface of claim 11, wherein said physiological signals comprise at least one of a treatment area definition, a tissue RF resistance, a tissue firmness and a fat thickness.

13. The user interface of claim 11 wherein said applicator parameters comprise at least one of vacuum pressure, RF power level, RF temperature, ultrasound frequency, ultrasound time-averaged power, ultrasound peak power and ultrasound scan depth.

14. The user interface of claim 11, wherein said treatment parameters comprise at least one of a total treatment time, a treatment progress and on-line measurements of said physiological signals.

15. The user interface of claim 11, wherein said parameters setting tools operate automatically.

16. A user interface element used in operating a fat reduction applicator using RF and ultrasound energies and vacuum pressure, comprising: a graphic element showing gradual filling of an applicator inner cavity in accordance with the advancement of vacuum suction pressure applied to a tissue; and an indication of the fat depth in said tissue under vacuum pressure when the cavity has been filled.

17. A user interface method of operating a fat reduction applicator using RF and ultrasound energies, comprising the steps of: defining an area to be treated in a first display view; deriving physiological signals of said area and displaying said signals in a second display view; setting applicator parameters for said treatment in a third display view; and monitoring said treatment progress in a fourth display view, wherein said separate display views may be combined to form one or more views.

18. The user interface method of claim 17, wherein said step of defining an area comprises the steps of: displaying a representative schematic diagram of a human body image; and receiving a selection of an area from a plurality of designated areas on said image.

19. The user interface method of claim 18, additionally comprising, prior to said step of displaying, a step of selecting between female and male representations.

20. The user interface method of claim 17, wherein said step of deriving physiological signals is performed automatically.

21. A user interface method of measuring fat thickness in a fat reduction applicator using RF and ultrasound energies and vacuum pressure, the method comprising the steps of: schematically showing the gradual filling of an inner cavity of the applicator in accordance with the advancement of vacuum suction of a tissue; and indicating the fat depth in said sucked tissue when the cavity has been filled.

22. A system for medical and aesthetic treatment, comprising: an applicator for applying the RF and ultrasound energies to a tissue; an electronic controller connected with said applicator; a display connected with said controller; and a user interface displayed on said display, said user interface comprising: a plurality of views, each view configured to occupy at least a section of said display, said views adapted to present data responsive to physiological signals, applicator parameters and treatment parameters; a plurality of icons configured to occupy a portion of said views and adapted to: designate the content of said views; wherein one of said views provides parameters setting tools, another of said views presents treatment progress, and at least one of said icons can be selected so as to switch said display between said views.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a non-provisional application being filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) and incorporating by reference United States Provisional Application for patent that was filed on Jul. 16, 2008 and assigned Ser. No. 61/081,110, such application is attached hereto as Appendix A in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The user interface relates to the field of operation of apparatuses for providing to a subject ultrasound and/or RF and/or massage treatment. In particular, the user interface relates to cosmetic and aesthetic treatments.

BACKGROUND

A user interface for operating aesthetic treatments aids the therapist/caregiver to set up parameters for the specific treatment, body area and patient. The user interface also enables real time monitoring of the on-going treatment, with respect to the patient's real time measured parameters and the equipment functionality.

BRIEF SUMMARY

A user interface is provided for operating non-invasive devices using a combination of bipolar conductive radio frequency (RF) induced current and low frequency ultrasound energy, with or without mechanical manipulation of the skin using gentle vacuum suction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The user interface and method of operating the applicators are particularly indicated and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The user interface and the method, however, both as to organization and method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read with the accompanied drawings, in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the method.

FIG. 1 is an exemplary user interface view for selecting the body area to be treated;

FIG. 2 is another exemplary view for selecting the body area to be treated;

FIGS. 3A and 3B are exemplary user interface views for setting the treatment parameters;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are exemplary user interface views for monitoring a treatment in progress;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are exemplary user interface views for performing tissue diagnostic as a pre-treatment step;

FIG. 6 is an exemplary user interface element for indicating fat variation and skin protrusion state; and

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating the operation of one embodiment of the user interface for controlling the tissue treatment system or for operating a fat reduction applicator using RF and ultrasound energies.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Non-invasive devices using a combination of bipolar radio frequency (RF) induced current and low frequency ultrasound energy, are designed for use in medical and aesthetic practices and are indicated for a temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite and for temporary reduction of circumferences. The devices may operate with or without mechanical manipulation of the skin using gentle vacuum suction devices. They are also useful for the relief of minor aches and muscle spasms, as well as for the improvement of local blood circulation. In addition, non-invasive body reshaping via circumference reduction can be achieved.

An exemplary embodiment of the treatment device comprises an applicator for applying the RF and ultrasound energies to a tissue. When a vacuum is applied (such as described in Provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 61/081,110 to the same assignee, said Provisional Application incorporated herein in its entirety), the RF and ultrasound energies are applied to a tissue protrusion which was drawn or sucked into the interior of the applicator by the negative pressure or vacuum.

The user interface may be operated in a touch-screen mode.

A preliminary view (not shown) may be displayed for selecting the appropriate applicator to be used, when more than one applicator may be connected to the system.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary user interface view 100 for selecting the body area to be treated by the applicator device and controlling such device. View 100 comprises a gender selection tool 110 and a front/back selection tool 120. In the example of FIG. 1, “male” gender and “front” have been selected, resulting in a front male image being displayed in body area selection box 130. FIG. 2 shows the resulting view when selecting “female” gender and “back”.

The human image in box 130 is super-imposed with one or more circles 140, denoting various body areas suitable for receiving the treatment. Circles 140 serve as a body area selection tool, e.g. by pressing one of the circles.

A tissue flexibility box 150 may serve the therapist or caregiver to define the degree of tissue flexibility in the area to be treated, using arrows 160 and 170 to denote greater or lesser degrees of tissue flexibility (laxity), respectively. In another embodiment, as will be described in detail in conjunction with FIG. 5, the tissue flexibility may be automatically provided, following a diagnostics pre-treatment procedure.

Fat thickness box 180 may serve the therapist to define the fat depth in the area to be treated, using arrows 185 and 190 to denote shallower or deeper fat layer, respectively. In another embodiment, as will be described in detail in conjunction with FIG. 5, the fat thickness may be automatically provided, following a diagnostics pre-treatment procedure.

Arrows 186 and 188 serve for changing the displayed view, by going backwards to the preceding view or forwards to the next view, respectively.

FIG. 3A shows an exemplary user interface view 300 for setting the treatment parameters. The treatment parameters are divided into two sections with one section including RF level and RF electrodes temperature 320, and a second section including ultrasound peak power, average power and scan depth 330. A schematic drawing of the selected area 340 allows the therapist to more accurately define the size and location of the area to be treated, using arrows 342 and 344 to adjust the area's height and arrows 346 and 348 to define the area's width. Rectangle 350 provides an interactive visual indication of the changed dimensions and location. Base on the area calculated and the body area selected the system suggests an appropriate treatment time.

Total treatment time may be defined in box 360, using arrows 362 and 364 to shorten or lengthen the treatment time, respectively.

Buttons P1 through P3 may be used to load previously stored sets of treatment parameters. Button C may be used to create a new set of treatment parameters, which may be saved for later reuse by selecting the Save button.

Arrow 366 serves for returning to the previous view and button 368 serves for indicating that the treatment may be started.

FIG. 3B shows an alternative exemplary user interface view 380 for setting the treatment parameters, for applicators using vacuum. All the elements of FIG. 3A participate or are included in the embodiment illustrated in view 380, with the addition of a vacuum level and time indicators 310, which may be used to define vacuum application parameters.

In another embodiment, as will be described in detail in conjunction with FIG. 5, the vacuum application parameters may be automatically provided, following a diagnostics pre-treatment procedure.

FIG. 4A shows an exemplary user interface view 400 for monitoring a treatment in progress. View 400 shows the previously selected applicator's operating parameters, including RF energy level and RF electrodes temperature 430, as well as the ultrasound peak power, average power and scan depth 440. View 400 additionally provides real time data updates including total accumulated energy 450 and patient's physiological parameters relevant to the treatment, including tissue resistance to RF induced current 460, absorption level, i.e. percentage of work done 480 and temperature variation graph 495, showing the patient's body temperature variation along the treatment time axis. Progress bar 496 provides a visual indication of the treatment progress. Arrows 497 and 498 may be used to shorten or lengthen the treatment time, respectively. Button 499 serves for stopping the treatment.

Tissue resistance indicator 460 is used to show a current level of tissue resistance under the current settings. In an exemplary embodiment, the indicator 460 may include a value scale 472 and a current value pointer 464. The current value pointer or arrow 464 points at the current level of tissue resistance and area 472 shows the history of average resistance values. Tissue resistance indicator 460 may comprise extreme areas 461 and 462, indicating that when the current resistant value 464 is pointing in these areas, the tissue resistance level to RF induced current is not suitable for treatment. Additionally, the tissue resistance indicator 460 may comprise a zones 463a and 463b indicating maximum and minimum tissue resistance to RF induced current encountered during the treatment session, respectively. Boxes 473 and 474 may show the RF impedance at the limit of the extreme areas 461, 462 respectively.

An absorption level indicator 480 includes a current level pointer 481 that indicates the percentage of work done. Arrow 481 indicates current absorption level (percentage of work done) and a numeric value is portrayed on the top of the meter (i.e. 60%).

FIG. 4B shows an alternative exemplary user interface view 420 for monitoring a treatment in progress, for applicators using vacuum. All the elements of FIG. 4A can also be utilized in view 420 of FIG. 4B if desired, with the addition of tissue flexibility indicator 470, current vacuum level indicator 410 and fat variation indicator 490. These three parameters (410, 470, and 490) are provided by the applicator, as described in Provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 61/081,110.

FIG. 5A shows an exemplary user interface view 500 for performing tissue diagnostic as a pre-treatment step. Advantageously, the display elements illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B can be removed during such a pre-treatment step to greatly simply the user interface from the operator's perspective. This also helps to reduce errors in readings. View 500 comprises tissue RF resistance indicator 510.

The measured diagnostics parameters may subsequently be used by the treatment process to establish suitable treatment parameters such as described in conjunction with FIG. 3A.

FIG. 5B shows an alternative exemplary user interface view 570 for performing tissue diagnostic as a pre-treatment step for applicators using vacuum pressure. All the elements illustrated in FIG. 5A can be included in view 570 of FIG. 5B, with the addition of tissue flexibility indicator 520 and fat variation indicator 580. These two parameters (520, 580) are provided by the applicator, as described in Provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 61/081,110. The measured diagnostics parameters may subsequently be used by the treatment process to establish suitable treatment parameters such as described in conjunction with FIG. 3B.

Thus, one aspect and/or embodiment of the present user interface is a user interface, such as one that can control and monitor the operations of an applicator such as the one described in Appendix A. The physical user interface, in general includes a display, such as a CRT monitor, LCD monitor or the like. The logical user interface includes a series of screens or views with each including various controls, status indicators and/or adjustments. The views can be rendered on the display device in such a manner that a single view occupies the entire display space or only a portion of the display space. Two or more views may be displayed simultaneously or, only one view can be displayed at a time.

Although the views can vary greatly, one or more of the views includes display elements that present data responsive to physiological signals obtained from the applicator, applicator parameter settings and treatment parameter settings. Physiological signals, in general, include signals that are obtained from the applicator device. More specifically, non-limiting examples of physiological signals may include a tissue RF resistance, a tissue firmness or flexibilty, temperature, moisture levels, and/or a fat thickness. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that other signals may also be included.

Applicator parameters, in general, include parameters that can be set by an operator for controlling the operating characteristics of the applicator. As non-limiting examples, the applicator parameters may include a vacuum pressure level, an RF power level, an RF temperature, an RF electrodes temperature, an ultrasound frequency, an ultrasound time-averaged power, an ultrasound peak power and an ultrasound scan depth.

The treatment parameters, in general, may be used to control the overall treatment session. Non-limiting examples of treatment parameters include a total treatment time, a treatment progress and an on-line measurements of said physiological signals. The on-line measurements can then be fed back into the system and heuristically used to determine further treatments, augment the treatment, or otherwise adjust the treatment. In various embodiments, a treatment area definition may be included as a treatment parameter to instruct/control the area to be treated. In other embodiments, the treatment area may be a physiological signal that is received based on the physical location of the applicator. Yet in other embodiments, the treatment area may be defined by applicator parameters.

In some embodiments of the invention, one or more of the parameters, including the applicator parameters and/or the treatment parameters can be manually set, automatically set, a combination of both manually and automatically set, automatically set in response to detected physiological settings and/or automatically set in response to detected physiological settings and/or manual settings.

The views may also include one or more icons that occupy a portion of one or more of the various views. The icons, when actuated, may operate to invoke actions and settings of the system. For instance, the icons can be used to modify various treatment and applicator parameters. In addition, icons may be used simply as indicators or gauges.

As another non-limiting example, a first view may provide parameters setting tools while a second view presents treatment progress. An icon may be included in each of these views and when actuated, causes the display to toggle between these views.

FIG. 6 shows in detail the exemplary user interface element 600 for indicating fat variation (FIG. 4B, 490; FIG. 5B, 580), for applicators using vacuum pressure, such as described in Provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 61/081,110. The interface element 600 could be incorporated into embodiments such as those illustrated in FIGS. 4B and 5B. Fat variation indicator 600 comprises an external contour 610, simulating the applicator's inner cavity into which tissue is drawn by vacuum pressure, fat layer 620 and muscle layer 630, schematically drawn when the sucked tissue has reached the bottom 640 of the inner cavity. A numerical indication of the fat layer thickness may be provided in box 650. In operation, as the tissue is drawing into the cavity, interface element 600 shows the amount of tissue that has been drawn in by gradually filling the cavity interior with the drawn replication of fat and muscle.

Thus, this aspect of the present invention is a user interface element used in operating a fat reduction applicator that incorporates the use of RF and ultrasound energies and vacuum pressure. The graphical element 600 represents the actual applicator. As vacuum pressure applied to the applicator increases, the user interface element shows a filling of the cavity of element 610 with fat tissue 620 and muscle tissue 630. In the state illustrated in FIG. 6, the vacuum pressure has been increased to a point to fully draw the tissue into the cavity. It will be appreciated that for lower levels of vacuum pressure, the tissue may be only partially drawing into the cavity. It will also be appreciated that in some embodiments, sensors may be used on the inside of the cavity to sense when the tissue has been drawn into the cavity. These sensors may be used in lieu of or in addition to the vacuum pressure level to determine at what level the tissue has been drawn into the cavity. Regardless, the user interface element can be configured as a Boolean function to indicate that the tissue is fully drawn or not fully drawn into the cavity. Alternatively, the user interface element may show a gradual indication that the inner cavity of the applicator is being filled as the vacuum pressure increases.

In addition, the user interface element 600 can provide an indication with regards to the fat depth of the tissue sucked into the cavity. As shown by element 650, the fat tissue 620 can be graphically illustrated as a different color or shading layered over the muscle tissue 630. At the top of the cavity, ultrasound technology can be used to determine the depth of the fat before muscle tissue is encountered. In the illustrated embodiment, this is shown as being 8 mm.

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating the operation of one embodiment of the user interface for controlling the tissue treatment system or for operating a fat reduction applicator using RF and ultrasound energies. The user interface 700 initially allows and operator to define an area to be treated in a first display view 702. In some embodiments, this may include displaying a depiction of a human body, or even scanning and displaying the actual human body being treated, and then displaying this data. From the displayed information, an operator may select various regions or portions of the body for treatment. This selection is provided to the system as a definition of the area to be treated. In some embodiments, the user interface may allow the operator to make a selection between gender, body styles (thin, athletic, fat, stocky), body sizes, age (infant, toddler, child, teen, adult) etc.

Physiological signals of the defined area to be treated can be obtained or derived 704 and then displayed in a second display view 706. The applicator parameters for the treatment can be displayed, selected, adjusted and set in a third display view 708. Once the system is set up, the treatment can be monitored in the fourth display view 710.

The user interface may operate as a daisy chain between each of these successive views or, the views can be combined in various manners or all displayed such as a card deck onto a display.

A number of embodiments have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the method. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.