Medgadget.com has learned that IBM in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic has developed a novel device, currently undergoing an FDA approval process, that is thought to simplify the lung biopsy process. Dubbed Interactive Breath Monitor, the device, never previously seen by the public, is a wireless monitor that functions through a specially designed coil placed across the torso. From information obtained by Medgadget.com, it seems the coil is used to register the girth of the chest upon inhalation inside the CT scanner, when the coordinates of lung mass are being recorded. Once outside the CT scanner, during the biopsy itself, the patient is asked to inhale again. The original chest expansion is indicated by the LED monitor flashing in the middle. At this point the chest and the lesion are in the same relative positions, and the biopsy can be done more safely.
In an impending press release, IBM will splash:
IBM engineers and designers, working together with Mayo Clinic physicians and radiologists, have created a small, wireless device that monitors the breathing of the patients using an LED display which can be set to a known state when the desired location is visible on the CT scan. This allows patients to more easily and as needed, achieve the desired breath hold position of the lung so minimum discomfort is experienced. In turn, this allows physician to conduct a more accurate examination, improving results and minimizing the need to repeat the procedure. The battery powered device is about the size of a handheld video game system and enables significant freedom and movement throughout an exam.
Prior to the development of this device, torso biopsies have historically been difficult for both physician and patients. Not only does patient need to hold their breath, but they also need to inhale to certain amount of air to place the probe in a certain location of the lungs. Traditionally, the device is fixed to the wall and difficult to maneuver, making it harder to administer the test, and in some cases, produce the need for multiple insertions.
IBM has recently announced a new strategy to provide its business partners with “comprehensive business insight, technical resources, networking opportunities, and marketing and sales support designed to help them reach more customers and close deals faster. Participants in the program can team with IBM to bring solutions to market more easily and to ensure these solutions meet specific industry needs, reflecting how customers buy technology today. By including access to its research division, IBM is extending the collaborative nature of its relationships with partners in a move designed to leverage the strengths of each organization.”
IBM believes that products like the Interactive Breath Monitor demonstrate the ability of IBM to capitalize on its knowledge base to deliver solutions to the health care industry.
Flashback: Mayo Clinic BC-10 MRI Coils