Rethinking Healthcare

Robotic hand feels for breast cancer lumps

Robotic hand feels for breast cancer lumps

Posting in Cancer

The glove device can also feel for other abnormalities and perform ultrasound.

Two engineers and a Harvard Medical School student have teamed up to create a robotic sensor glove, Co.Exist's Ariel Schwartz reports:

The Med Sensation glove, now in its second iteration, is outfitted with sensors that can detect vibrations, sound, and temperature--and it features an accelerometer and a buzzer system for items that require immediate attention. "If you apply too much pressure on the examined tissue, then the buzzer goes on," explains team member Elishai Ezra.

The glove quantifies and transmits all the information it gathers from an exam to another device. Possible uses include:

  • Home breast cancer screenings to judge whether a lump warrants a doctor's visit
  • Detecting an enlarged liver
  • Detecting enlarged lymph nodes
  • Assessing abdominal pain
  • Ultrasound to examine heart abnormalities

Co.Exist's Schwartz continues:

The Med Sensation’s first goal is to bring the glove into medical education settings, teaching doctors to improve their examination skills. If that goes well, the team hopes to get the glove into physicians’ hands. And after that, the team wants to make a consumer-friendly version that "will allow people to do a physical exam themselves," according Ezra. In Med Sensation’s future filled with robotic hands, patients will need to go to the doctor a whole lot less.

Here's a video of the glove in action:

[via Co.Exist]

Photo: Med Sensation

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Audrey Quinn

Contributing Writer

Audrey Quinn is a Brooklyn-based multimedia journalist focused on health, tech and the economy. Her radio stories can be heard on Marketplace, Studio 360, PRI's The World, NPR's Latino USA, Deutsche Welle Radio and The Believer Magazine podcast. In addition to her work with CBS Interactive she produces multimedia science stories for online publications and is a teaching assistant at the Transom Story Workshop. Her investigative work has been awarded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure