The new device can generate ultrasound images via your iPhone.
There isn’t much our smartphones can’t do nowadays. Pedometers, fitness and diet trackers, there’s always a way to check up on your health at the touch of a button. But what about the future? I mean, we’ve pretty much covered everything haven’t we?
Well, maybe… just maybe… we’ll be able to use these clever little devices to diagnose our own illnesses. Imagine being able to use your phone to screen yourself for things like cancer and tumours in mere minutes. It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but that’s exactly what happened to one man recently.
Dr. John Martin, an American vascular surgeon, made history by using his iPhone to diagnose cancerous cells in his neck. At the time of the discovery, he was testing a portable ultrasound device called Butterfly iQ. The gadget can be connected to your iPhone and used to scan various areas of your body in no time at all.
The Butterfly iQ has a similar appearance to an electric razor, complete with a sturdy handle and a bulkier oblong head. The top is placed against your body and creates an ultrasound image of your internal workings, which is then displayed on your iPhone screen.
Basically, it means you can do your own ultrasound without the aid of any doctors or nurses by your side.
The truly brilliant thing about this product is the hope it brings for the future. Everyone from ambulance workers to civilians, i.e. non-medical staff, could wield a Butterfly iQ.
We may soon be able to diagnose medical conditions much quicker than ever. Since fatality rates from some diseases can be reduced the earlier they’re detected, this information could literally save lives.
As for Dr. Martin, he has since undergone radiation treatment and surgery after detecting his own cancer, according to Technology Review. For Dr. Martin, and potentially others like him, having this iPhone accessory could be the difference between life and death.
The Butterfly iQ gadget will be available early next year for iPhone users around the world, and will cost $1,999 (around £1,500). Of course, that’s a huge investment for even the most health conscious among us. However, the fact that these medical devices will soon be on sale to the general public may be a step in the right direction.