Finding Cancer Using an iPhone is Becoming A Reality

Source: Wired

Let’s make a quick, forward time travel: not only iPhones, but smartphones overall, are able to detect the owners’ diseases and look after the health of them as well. Does it sound like an utopic, distant future, right?

The story of this surgeon and his iPhone could tell us a quite different tale, and probably explain all the fuss regarding the new iPhone X and its recent pre-order release, because it seems that, literally, the whole world wants one.

Your iPhone and a Butterfly iQ to beat cancer asap

iPhone
Source: Technologyreview

So as if it were about a fairy-tech story, John Martin, an US vascular surgeon, found cancerous cells in his own neck while testing a portable ultrasound device on his iPhone.

I know, it’s sad that the tester found the cancer over himself, though, he’s already being successfully treated. In fact, he has undergone surgery and radiation treatment since the alert thrown by the iPhone and the connected smart device that looks a lot like an electric razor.

Nevertheless, now that we take account of the health of the researcher, let me introduce you to the one and only Butterfly iQ. Developed by a startup called Butterfly Network, based in Guilford, Connecticut, the IQ is a pocket-sized appliance that aims to be a more versatile, portable ultrasound machine than the classic ones.

In this way, what started as an uncomfortable feeling of thickness on Dr. Martin’s throat, or in few words, the cancer, luckily turned into a happy coincidence for the medic, since he decided to try the gadget shortly, then detected the issue in almost a record Guinness time, and now just joined as chief medical officer of the Butterfly Network company.

Medical appliances connected to smartphones

At the very beginning, no one can deny this simplification of medical technologies that normally come in complicated to carry and handle, quite cumbersome sizes, are advances to take off the hats — I mean, who could really envision that an iPhone could detect cancer ever?

iPhone
Source: Pinterest

However, this is a cutting-edge technology that must be polished. So far, black-and gray images on a smartphone screen could mean nothing for someone that’s not doctor and don’t know how to read ultrasound messages, which is something that means two possibilities for the developers’ next steps: orientate it for only professional handling on medical field, or reprogram it for more universal understanding language thereby to reach a wider market.

In this way, although Butterfly IQ inventors hope to combine the instrument with artificial-intelligence software that could help a novice position the probe, collect the right images, and interpret them, reaching a wide audience through more features is expensive. In fact, the more advanced technology is, the expensive it will be for consumer, and the groundbreaking gadget is already valued in $2k as it is.

iPhone X could be tomorrow’s doctor

Thereupon, whether the Butterfly IQ is affordable or not, another the big barrier is: what if I don’t have an iPhone? And it could lead to prefer just simply buying the latest Apple smartphone, which is also betting to take care of the health at large according the CEO, Tim Cook. So far, there’s no clear information regarding if the device will match with other smartphones either.

In any case, no matter whether you prefer to pay thousands for using Instagram everywhere or detecting cancer whenever you feel you need to do it, there’s no doubt gadgets like the Butterfly IQ, to be released in 2018, and shortly expected to automatically calculate how much blood a heart is pumping or detect problems like aortic aneurysms, make us feel anxious and excited about what’s coming soon in matter of tech — Even though we are not sure if we’ll be able to afford it or not, ha!

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