Israeli doctor Nitzan Yaniv had an idea: since infrared imaging can be used to detect early stages of cancer, particularly breast cancer, why not make home self-examination as easy as snapping a picture with a cameraphone? Taking the idea to Israeli phone company Cellcom, Yaniv discovered that not only would this be possible, it might actually be easy.
By installing new software and adding a basic infrared camera, a mobile phone could be transformed into a highly-effective diagnostic tool, offering far more accurate results than the self-checks many women do themselves, the Haaretz daily reported.
Dr Nitzan Yaniv, who developed the technology, said the results of the scan could be immediately transferred to a medical laboratory for analysis, which could determine whether further checks were necessary. [link added]
The Soroka medical center is also testing the technology as a way to detect early stages of heart disease, which also has a tell-tale heat signature.
This is not the first time that cameraphones have been proposed as diagnostic tools. In June, I pointed to a report about Swedish biomedical firm Uppsala BIO's work on a blood testing setup relying on cameraphones, and last February, I discussed research by Swiss dermatologists showing that diagnoses via cameraphone image could be nearly as good as in-person diagnoses for many skin conditions.
In all three of these examples, the readings taken by the phone must be transmitted to a medical center for analysis -- this isn't a doctor-in-your-phone quite yet. Still, these provide ample evidence that the technology for capturing images through a handheld networked device is far more important than advertisements extolling the ability to send photos of potential dates to one's chums would suggest. From environmental monitoring to location-based-services to homemade sensors, we're only beginning to see the utility of these mobile information, communication and observation devices.
this is really neat. i'm really surprised that none of the local israeli media has shown any of this.
For "neat" substitute "brilliant" :) What a beautiful piece of tech.