Delphinus Medical, a company out of Plymouth, Michigan, developed an ultrasound device that may one day serve as an alternative to traditional X-ray mammography. The SoftVue system uses wide spectrum ultrasound to image a breast that is dipped into a warm water opening surrounded by transducers. Unlike during mammography, the breast is not compressed and there’s no dangers associated with ionizing radiation. The woman simply lays down in a prone position for about fifteen minutes while the test is conducted, and reportedly feels next to nothing during the exam.
Delphinus has applied with the FDA to receive approval to market the device as a screening option over mammography, which may be a hard bar to clear. For now, the Detroit Free Press reports that the company plans on marketing it as a diagnostic device for follow-ups to mammograms.
From Delphinus Medical’s technology page:
It is well known that dolphins (Latin: Delphinus) communicate with the aid of underwater acoustic signals, a concept that is at the heart of the technology being developed by Delphinus Medical Technologies. The essential scientific idea behind SoftVue is that the interaction of sound waves with cancerous tissue yields a unique signature that can be measured with our device.The manner in which sound waves travel through human tissue is governed by biomechanical tissue properties such as stiffness and density. The breast contains a wide range of tissue types, and sound waves are scattered based on their interaction with the various tissues. Conventional ultrasound records only a small fraction of the scattered field and, therefore, a small fraction of the information about the imaged tissue. The SoftVue system, on the other hand, records the entire scattered field. This additional information, ignored by conventional ultrasound imaging, results in a more accurate and complete image of the tissue characteristics. Patented algorithms, developed by Delphinus Medical Technologies, allow visualization of the inherent properties of tissue.
More from Detroit Free Press: Delphinus Medical Technologies seeks FDA OK for device that could be an alternative to mammograms
Product page: SoftVue system…