This is fantastic news! A team of scientists at Harvard University and MIT have created a $200 scanner gizmo that can detect cancer in one hour. How life-changing is that?
The hand-held scanner "uses antibodies and magnetic particles to seek out and flag cancer in cells, which are extracted with a needle, rather than large amounts of surgically removed tissue." Diagnostic results can then be processed on a smartphone like the iPhone through an app and within an hour, you'll know if that tumorous tissue is cancer or not.
Normally, a biopsy is used to scan for cancer, but those tests can only be 84% accurate, whereas this hand-held scanner can produce results that are much higher — 96%. With the boost in accuracy, potential cancer patients will be able sleep a bit easier knowing that they have been properly diagnosed.
This gadget isn't some ho-hum device that will never make it into your home — it costs only $200 to make and has the potential to make huge splashes in poorer countries where doctors and working medical equipment is scarce. I wouldn't be shocked if everyone had one of these little gizmos stowed away in their bathroom cabinets in the near future.