Ultrasonography is the most widely used medical imaging modality in the world and does not expose patients to risk of radiation.
Engineers from University of Columbia have developed an innovative ultrasound transducer or probe. The probe is portable and wearable. Not too less; it can be powered with Smartphone as it needs only 10 volts power to operate. One may start thinking that it must be expensive . . .
Shockingly, it costs just around $100 i.e. approximately 7000 rupees. The cost of commonly used ultrasound machine in India is ranged in lakhs.
How this innovation is different?
Smartphone powered ultrasound uses tiny vibrating drums made of polymer resin, called polyCMUTs (polymer capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers).These tiny vibrating drums are cheap. Currently available ultrasound machine uses piezoelectric crystals to take images of the body parts.
This technology has the potential to be extended to make flexible transducer intended for conformal and wearable health monitoring systems. These transducers can be miniaturise and use them to look inside arteries and veins. One can stick them on chest and do live continuous monitoring of heart in daily life. It can open up so many different possibilities.
It means one can save money when going to radiologist for ultrasound which commonly is charged between Rs.500 – 1500 approximately.Hoping to see this innovation in market sooner
Image source: tmrresearchblog.com