Cell Phones Diagnose The Cancer They Might Give You

first_imgThe verdict is still out on whether or not cell phone can cause cancer, but thanks to researchers at Harvard’s medical school, they can play a role in detecting it. A new, handheld device that interfaces with smartphones can tell if a patient has cancer with a 96 percent accuracy rate. The detector contains a very small needle that takes a sample of the patients tissue, then suspends it in magnetic fields looking for potential tumor markers. The whole process only takes about half an hour, and can be used at doctors’ offices instead of requiring a costly trip to a hospital.Usually, doctors use larger nuclear magnetic resonance machines to perform this type of detection, but because the handheld version uses simplified measurement techniques and the tissue sample taken is so much smaller, it can be miniaturized using a much less powerful magnet.This type of detection could be used to judge how effective cancer treatment has been without requiring a core-needle biopsy, making it much easier for cancer patients to get updates on their recovery. “If a patient is already getting chemotherapy, the doctor could quickly tell whether a treatment is working,” said Hakho Lee, a professor at Harvard who designed the device.It’s not quite bug free though. The technique used to detect cancer is extremely sensitive, but might lead to some false positives. And don’t expect to be able to pick this up at your nearest Apple store either; researchers are still working out the kinks before the device is available commercially.[via IEEE Spectrum]last_img read more