MIT has developed a “ultrasound sticker” that enables medical professionals to view a patient’s interior organs without the need for the cumbersome equipment they currently use.
“A stamp-sized gadget that attaches to skin and can offer continuous ultrasound imaging of inside organs for 48 hours,” according to the university, describes the ultrasound sticker. In tests, it was discovered that these tiny monitors were able to create “live, high-resolution images of major blood vessels and deeper organs such as the heart, lungs, and stomach.”
Making “wearable imaging tools that patients may take home from a doctor’s office or even buy at a pharmacy” is the aim, according to MIT. However, the university isn’t quite there yet.
According to MIT, the ultrasonic sticker’s current design still requires pairing with a device that transforms sound waves into visuals. Although its researchers have already begun developing a wireless version that does not require patients to be directly attached to the other device, it is unlikely that consumers will be able to use these ultrasound stickers at home until that version is available.
Not all of the researchers’ current projects involve wireless ultrasound stickers. In order to use stickers “not only to monitor various internal organs but also the progression of tumors, as well as the development of fetuses in the womb,” MIT says they are also “developing software algorithms based on artificial intelligence that can better interpret and diagnose the stickers images.”
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Until then, MIT claims that even without these other functions, the ultrasonic sticker “may have immediate applications.” For instance, the gadgets “might be affixed to patients in the hospital, similar to heart-monitoring EKG stickers, and could continually photograph inside organs without needing a technician to hold a probe in place for long periods of time,” the article claims.
More details can be found in an paper (Opens in a new window) that Science released on July 28.
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