Researchers at Washington University in St Louis are on the way to perfecting a mobile phone based ultrasound machine which could radically improve medical diagnosis in remote and inaccessible areas. The USB device can be used to scan internal body organs, eyes, and veins and arteries for IVs. The two boffins, David Zar and William Richard have set a target price of $500 for the device, which makes it orders of magnitude cheaper than current portable imaging products. Sometimes these people are too clever for words.
Another promising application is for caregivers of patients with Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy. A degenerative disease that often strikes young boys and robs them of their lives by their late 20s, DMD is a degenerative disease for which there is no cure. The leading treatment to slow its progression is a daily dose of steroids. Patients often experience some side effects from steroids, which are dose related…Measuring these changes in muscle can be accomplished with ultrasound and may allow researchers to optimize steroid dosing to maximize efficacy while minimizing side effects.