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Engineers Use Cell Phones to Provide Cheaper Access to Medical Imaging

Narrator: This is Science Today. Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed an innovative way that may someday make medical imaging accessible to billions of people around the world who currently have no access. Mechanical engineer Boris Rubinsky says they've developed a new device that uses cell phones to make medical imaging cheaper and more accessible.

Rubinksy: What the device does, it measures electrical information from the patient and it conveys the information through the cellular phone. This is a simple cellular phone that transfers information the same way that you would transfer a text message.

Narrator: The device uses electrical impedance tomography, which is based on the principle that diseased tissue transmits electrical currents differently than healthy tissues.

Rubinsky: This information is being transferred through a central processing system, through a very powerful computer and then we get back the image on the cellular phone. So, in the remote area of the world where there is no medical imaging, the physician needs to bring just this box, their own cellular phone and they will have medical imaging.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.