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Researchers Develop the Cell Phone / Medical Scanner

April 30, 2008 7:29 PM | Technology |

Soon cell phones may be coupled with hand held medical scanners to save lives.  According to a research report today in the Journal PLoS ONE, researchers have used off the shelf cell phone technology and coupled it with a portable scanner to use as an ultrasound and X-ray machine.

It's estimate that about three-quarters of the world's population do not have access to ultrasounds, X-rays and other imagers used for everything from detecting tumors to monitoring fetuses.  The cell phone /scanner could become very helpful in developing countries.  Additionally, the cell phone /scanner can be used in ambulances, or rural clinics.

The cell phone /scanner works by transmitting raw scanning data to processors, which create images to relay back for viewing on the cell phone screen. The device would much cheaper than medical imaging because one processor facility could serve multiple imagers.
Cell Phone and Medical Image Scanner

As a test, per the research report, a scanner was connected to a cell phone via a USB cable and tested on a gel-filled container that simulated breast tissue afflicted with a tumor. Diseased tissue conducts electricity differently than healthy tissue does.  The image processed by remote computers and sent back had the simulated tumor clearly visible onscreen.

Cell Phone and Medical Image Scanner

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