Wearable ultrasound scanner could detect breast cancer earlier

In hopes of improving the overall survival rate for breast cancer patients, MIT researchers have designed a wearable ultrasound device that could allow people to detect tumors when they are still in early stages. It could be valuable for patients at high risk of developing breast cancer in between routine mammograms.

The U.S. National Science Foundation-supported device is a flexible patch that can be attached to a bra, allowing the wearer to move an ultrasound tracker along the patch and image the breast tissue from different angles. In the new study, the researchers showed that they could obtain ultrasound images with resolution comparable to that of the ultrasound probes used in medical imaging centers.

"We changed the form factor of the ultrasound technology so that it can be used in your home. It's portable and easy to use, and provides real-time, user-friendly monitoring of breast tissue," says Canan Dagdeviren, senior author of the study, which appears in Science Advances.