Detect Cancer At Home, Use This iPhone-Based Ultrasound Machine

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| October 29 , 2017 , 18:39 IST

US researchers recently came up with a revolutionary idea to detect cancer which will make our life easier and health better. A portable iPhone-based ultrasound machine lets the prospective patients detect cancer at home.

An electric razor-sized device - Butterfly IQ- scans a person's body and present a black and white imagery when paired with an iPhone. The device can be carried easily and shoots sounds into one's body for capturing the echoes.

Reportedly, the sound waves which are usually developed by vibrating crystals are developed by 9,000 tiny drums etched onto a semiconductor chip in the novel machine. Connecticut-based start-up Butterfly Network is credited with the unique idea.

The "capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers" or CMUTs is a tiny ultrasonic emitter layered on a semiconductor chip which is a little larger than a postage stamp.

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While testing this device, a US-based vascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Butterfly Network, John Martin found a cancerous mass in his throat which made him uncomfortable. When he ran a probe connected to his smartphone through his neck to spread a relieving gel, he noted black-and grey images on the device.

After further diagnosis, it was found that Martin is suffering from squamous-cell cancer which is a form of skin cancer that affects the outer layer of the skin. "The device gives you the ability to do everything at the bedside: you can pull it out of your pocket and scan the whole body," Martin said.

The company is planning to start the machine sales this year with the price tag of $1,999, which is way less than any other machine of the same feat. Butterfly Network plans to take their research in artificial-intelligence software forward and develop a novice position to probe, collect the right images and interpret them.

The unique software is expected to calculate the amount of blood pumped by the heart or detect problems like aortic aneurysms.