Measuring the volume of an object or a small local part of an object may have general applications. Quality control in industrial production processes often require volume determination. Further, people visiting fitness centers are interested in muscle development as are top athletes. Last but not least, in the medical world (local) volume determination often supports diagnosing a patient.
Lymphedema is swelling of a body part due to accumulation of interstitial fluid. The primary increase in volume is often followed by changes like fibrosis or the development of connective tissue. In the Netherlands 350,000 patients are known (2.2%). In Europe and North America the estimated number of patients having edema is more than 27 million, whereas worldwide over 200 million patients suffer from this disease.
An early and accurate diagnosis is of great importance because effective treatments are possible in many cases. The course of edema over time, the result of a treatment, is determined by measuring local cross-sectional areas and volume of an arm or a leg.