It doesn’t matter how advanced a breast cancer detection system is, it’s only effective if patients have access to it. So Nihon University has developed a portable unit that can be taken to those without access to a hospital.
Using a technology known as the phase shift method, the handheld detector emits light with a wavelength of 850nm which is then bounced back and measured. Any areas that could be cancerous will appear darker since there’s a greater concentration of blood cells which will absorb more of the light, instead of reflecting it back.
Unlike traditional mammography methods the breast doesn’t need to be sandwiched flat, the detector can just be pressed against the skin and the results will be instantly displayed on an LCD. Unfortunately there’s no word on when this device will be available for widespread use, or even with humans. At the moment the university is still testing it on just animals, but it has a lot of potential to bring these potentially life saving checkups to those who can’t leave their homes, or who are unable to use a traditional machine. [Tech-On!]