How would you like to see if you have cancer with just a scan of your body by a palm-held device? Or better yet, how about if you could do it with a little gadget attached to your iPhone? Well, that’s just what a doctor recently did when he felt “something funny” in his neck. He scanned the troubled area and discovered it was a tumor. The device led to early discovery, which led to early treatment. The device is called a Butterfly IQ.
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A vascular surgeon detected his own cancer while running a test of a new portable ultrasound gadget for his iPhone. The doctor was testing the Butterfly iQ, a scanner the size of an electric razor when he decided to scan his own throat after noticing some discomfort and ended up discovering a cancerous mass in it.
“I felt something funny in my neck, connected the probe to my phone, did an ultrasound and there it was, my tumor,” Dr. John Martin said. Incidentally, the doctor is the chief medical officer of the company that created the miniature ultrasound device — and undergone surgery and radiation treatment since the cancer was diagnosed.
The ultrasound gadget is the product of a startup called Butterfly Network and is going to be launched in the U.S. market in 2018 for a price of $2,000. The handheld device is designed to be used in emergency situations, at the home or in an ambulance, to help detect a child’s injury, for instance.
The Butterfly iQ resembles an electric razor that can be connected to a smartphone through a wire. The users of the device can toggle through various modes on the screen and alter the gain on the ultrasound, which offers better views of tissues depending on their depth in the body.
On the screen, doctors can toggle through different modes and adjust the gain on the ultrasound, which allows them to get better views of tissue — based on how deep it is in the body.
The small gadget has a semiconductor chip with thousands of small drums that create the sound waves instead of the usual vibrating crystal setup of an ultrasound, according to a report. All a person has to do is rub the cold gel of an ultrasound onto themselves and then rub a small wand across the suspected problematic areas. The images will then be relayed to a smartphone.