23 responses

  1. Mccabedoug
    March 10, 2011

    Another example of the unbelievable medical breakthroughs I have said before that we would start seeing for the next 10 to 15 years. Does this not sound like the early beginnings of a Star Trek-like Tricorder? Imagine having this instead of spending 30 minutes of claustrophobic terror and deafening noise inside an MRI chamber!!!

  2. Daen de Leon
    March 10, 2011

    I have to say, the hype over the smartphone component is disproportionate. That you can use one to control the micro-NMR device and do the signal deconvolution and analysis is impressive, but not really the point of the article. The real breakthrough is the use of an FNA sample rather than a tissue biopsy and the rapid turnaround time, which are both actually made possible by the micro-NMR device, not the smartphone (a desktop box could easily do the same job).

  3. Cellar
    March 11, 2011

    There seems to be absolutely no reason why you’d specifically need a smartphone for this. Make it usb-attached and a laptop would do too. It is nice that only now people start to be inspired to do this sort of thing, but as so often, there’s nothing intrinsic in the technology that drives this. It’s the people that start to put things together.

  4. doc
    March 11, 2011

    “How much does the device cost to make? $200.”

    Adding on the medical device surcharge fee of $14800 brings the purchase price to only 5 easy payments of $3000!

  5. Gemils
    March 11, 2011

    While the smartphone element is very much over-hyped for those of us in the developed and connected parts of the world, it can be very significant for people who don’t have the luxury of a desktop PC and high-resolution monitor in their doctor’s office. Imagine a traveling physician in [insert remote area: Alaska, Appalachia, the Peruvian Andes, Subsaharan Africa, the Hindu-Kush, Siberia] that can use two very portable devices to provide a level of diagnosis otherwise unavailable in those regions without incurring otherwise expensive or time-consuming travel expenses for each patient.

  6. ByronR
    March 13, 2011

    It is encouraging that the processing power can be reduced to something that small, portable and rapid. But we are still left with the problem of localizing the mass to be sampled (imaging). Maybe this device can be hand carried into the Hindu-Kush but the CT, MRI, ultrasound or mammography equipment necessary to find the suspicious mass can’t be. Yet.

    Second problem is that as samples get smaller and less intrusive the risk of false negatives goes up. The sample extracted may not have cancer in it but the patient does. As someone who does needle biopsies I know it is a truism that the more passes with the needle that you take the more likely you are to find the cancer. And that is with an 18 gauge core biopsy needle. FNA is going to accentuate the problem.

  7. Anonymous
    March 13, 2011

    The AMA will have that outlawed in a heartbeat. People are not entitled to know anything about their health unless a doctor gets a big check.

    For example, there are inexpensive genome decoders in production that will quickly and easily tell people if they are susceptible to diabetes, alzheimers, etc. The federal government immediately made it a crime to examine DNA without getting a license from them, so as to benefit the entrenched genome industry.

    The federal government is a whore that will happily cause untold damage to people’s lives in exchange for sacks of cash. You wanted an all-powerful government. You got it.

  8. johnnybones
    September 13, 2011

    Pretty funny. I especially like the unexpected reference to the Pulp Fiction Wallet. Very classy =P.

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