Friday May 25, 2018

Butterfly IQ : The iPhone-based Portable Ultrasound Machine to Detect Cancer

Developed by Connecticut-based start-up Butterfly Network, the pocket sized device works by shooting sound into the body and capturing the echoes.

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Butterfly IQ
There is a new portable device that might be able to detect cancer. Pixabay
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New York, October 29, 2017 : A novel iPhone-based portable ultrasound machine that can help detect cancer easily at home has been developed by US researchers.

The device called Butterfly IQ is a scanner of the size of an electric razor that can display black-and-white imagery of the body, when paired with an iPhone.
Developed by Connecticut-based start-up Butterfly Network, the pocket sized device works by shooting sound into the body and capturing the echoes.
Usually, the sound waves are generated by a vibrating crystal. But Butterfly’s machine instead uses 9,000 tiny drums etched onto a semiconductor chip, reported the MIT Technology Review on Friday.
Earlier this year, John Martin, a US-based vascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Butterfly Network, discovered a cancerous mass in his own throat while testing the device.
Martin felt an uncomfortable feeling of thickness on his throat, thus he oozed out some gel and ran the probe along his neck.
On his smartphone, to which the device is connected, black-and gray images quickly appeared.
He found a 3 cm mass that was diagnosed as squamous-cell cancer — a form of skin cancer that develops in the cells of the outer layer of the skin.
Instead of vibrating crystals, Butterfly IQ uses “capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers”, or CMUTs, tiny ultrasonic emitters layered on a semiconductor chip a little larger than a postage stamp.
“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 now plans to combine the instrument with artificial-intelligence software that could help a novice position the probe, collect the right images, and interpret them.
By 2018, its software will let users automatically calculate how much blood a heart is pumping, or detect problems like aortic aneurisms, the report said.
The Butterfly IQ is the first solid-state ultrasound machine to reach the market in the US. The company plans to go on sale this year for $1,999-far less than any other model on the market. (IANS)
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Study Shows Weight Loss Surgery Can Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

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Bariatric Surgery
representational image. Pixabay

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer, most closely associated with excessive sun exposure. Obesity is an established risk factor for cancer and some studies indicate that intentional weight loss sometimes reduces the risk.

However, evidence for a link between obesity, weight loss and malignant melanoma is limited.

The new findings showed that bariatric surgery led to a 42 per cent reduced risk of skin cancer in general compared to controls given usual obesity care.

The study “supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of bariatric surgery that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades”, said lead author Magdalena Taube from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

The results were presented at the 2018 European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

The protective effect of bariatric surgery on skin cancer was observed in a group of 2,007 obese participants who were then followed for a median of 18 years.

These were compared with a control group consisting of 2,040 individuals who matched with the participants who underwent surgery on sex, age, anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular risk factors, psychosocial variables and personality traits.

Also Read: Study Shows that Humans Are Influencing Cancer in Wild Animals

To analyse malignant melanoma incidence, statistical tests were used to compare time to first melanoma cancer diagnosis between the surgery and control groups.

In additional analyses, risk ratios between the surgery and control groups were compared. (IANS)

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