Breast cancer diagnoses may be immediate with this new scanning device

Breast cancer test
A device being developed by European scientists may help make breast cancer tests easier and less painful. It’s called the PAMMOTH (or, photoacoustic ultrasound mammoscopy for evaluating screening-detected abnormalities in the breast, if you have time to say it) and combines light and sound sensors to offer a 3D image of the suspected tumor. The goal is to create a “while-you-wait” test that minimizes discomfort and uncertainty of cancer diagnosis.

“Despite advancements in X-ray imaging, ultrasound imaging, and MRI, these clinical imaging [methods] have shortcomings,” Srirang Manohar, project coordinator and professor at the University of Twente, told Digital Trends.

Although artificial intelligence has significantly improved successful breast cancer diagnoses, current breast cancer evaluations may take many weeks and multiple steps that can be stressful for a patient, who may begin by visiting their GP before being referred to a specialist for a number of procedures.

PAMMOTh breast cancer test
University of Twente
University of Twente

“In general … discrimination between malignancy and healthy tissue or a benign abnormality is challenging,” Manohar said. “This results in use of multiple and/or repeat imaging, and often unnecessary biopsy.”

With the PAMMOTH, a patient simply rests her breasts in a hemispherical bowl, which uses lasers and ultrasound — combining photonics and acoustics in a technique called photoacoustics — to scan the suspected tissue.

“Light scatters within the breast and is selectively absorbed by blood in the strongly vascularized tumor site,” Manohar explained. The energy absorbed by the tumor is converted into thermal energy, creating a pressure wave that can be detected with ultrasound sensors. “From the detected signals the locations where the initial acoustic pressure was created can be reconstructed” he added. This data can be used to develop a 3D map of of the blood vessels within the tumor.

The photoacoustics technique will provide data on the blood vessels within the tumor and “also enable the calculation of oxygen saturation with the use of multiple wavelengths and clever image reconstruction algorithms,” Manohar said. “This is expected to give information which is specific for cancer. ”

The PAMMOTH still has at least another two and a half years of development, but it offers a promising alternative to current diagnostics in an industry that’s expected to reach $8 billion by 2022.

“The imager will be noninvasive, will not require contrast agents nor use ionizing radiation,” he said. “Furthermore, the patient will feel no pain or discomfort.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Mobile

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.
Deals

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.