A portable and comparatively low cost medical imaging device that, for the first time, can be placed in the hands of first responders and professional practitioners.
Imaging ranks as one of the most important tools utilized by the medical community. Every day, physicians in hospitals and private radiological practices across the country and around the world make use of medical imagery of all sorts to diagnose disease, prescribe and monitor treatment regimens and for a variety of other life saving purposes.
Existing biomedical imaging techniques such as MRI, CAT scans, ultrasonic scans, nuclear medical, terahertz radiation and X-ray all have limitations. These include, but are not limited to, exposure to ultra-strong magnetic fields, high-energy radiation with potential genetic damage, application of dyes and tracers, ingestion of imaging agents, invasive procedures as well as physical contact with the subject and confining environments.
Furthermore existing imaging systems entail significant post-procurement maintenance and calibration costs. The facilities which house such equipment are very specialized, requiring specific construction techniques, shielding, higher power requirements and structural strengthening of floors.
Because of these complications, medical imagers are simply not available to most of those medical professionals who really need them. Examples of this include first responders, physicians in private practice and medical professionals in remote locations. Thus, there exists a very large, underserved market, not just domestically but worldwide as well.
This technology provides for unique, self-calibrating, rapid, safe, and portable hand-held imaging platform that can allow practitioners to diagnose existing medical conditions and the severity of most accidental injuries onsite and in the most remote areas. Such conditions could include broken bones, soft tissue trauma, penetrating or other types of wounds, breathing obstructions and selected physiological functions
The imager will be approximately a small laptop-sized device. It will have roughly the same physical footprint as a laptop but at least twice the thickness in order to accommodate imaging components. The corresponding weight goal will therefore be approximately 5 to 10 lbs. The display is anticipated to be larger than an iPad but with the same image resolution as an iPad. Use of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components will insure high quality and performance, yet low materials cost.
Such imagers could revolutionize emergency medical care if available to local EMTs deployed to accident sites. Physicians in rural communities would have access to patient imagery that currently is only accessible to select few medical institutions, such as hospitals, which could be hours away even by medical helicopter. First Responders arriving to serve avalanche victims in the remote backcountry would be able to diagnose internal injuries on site.
Real time imaging data could then be transmitted from a remote site directly to attending physicians at the medical facility. With this technology, patients could be diagnosed even before they are admitted. Treatment could begin immediately when patients arrive, saving precious time and thereby saving lives.