Skip to main content

New medical imaging camera in the U.K. can see through the human body

medical camera human body spots illumination
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Edinburgh recently developed an imaging medical camera that is capable of seeing through the human body to detect light sources. The camera is designed to help doctors better track medical tools called endoscopes, which are used to investigate a range of internal conditions. It can do this by detecting the illuminated end of the flexible endoscope cable.

“We have developed a method to determine the location of medical devices through tissue using an advanced camera technology,” Dr. Mike Tanner, a research fellow at Edinburgh’s Queens Medical Research Institute, told Digital Trends. “The principle is that some light does pass through tissue, as seen when holding a torch behind your hand. However, the amount of light passing through is very low, and the light scatters or bounces around inside the tissue structures losing all useful information. To solve this, we use a camera that is so sensitive it can see individual particles of light and also time the arrival of the photons. The very first light to arrive at the camera has been scattered least and tells us the location of the device.”

Up until now, physicians wanting to track the internal location of endoscopes have had to utilize expensive and potentially harmful scans such as X-rays to track the progress of the probes inside patients. The new imaging camera is able to change that, using thousands of single photon detectors packed onto a single silicon chip to track the location of light points through 20 centimeters of tissue under regular light conditions.

It is part of a wider initiative, in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University and the University of Bath, dedicated to developing new technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of lung disease.

“This [camera has already] been demonstrated in relevant scenarios, and we hope to take this forward to human trials in the coming year,” Tanner said. “The equipment is relatively simple and compact, and ideal for deployment and commercialization in realistic timescales.”

A paper describing the work, “Ballistic and snake photon imaging for locating optical endomicroscopy fibers,” was published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more