Scientists working in Canada have developed a revolutionary handheld imaging device that allows the inside of the ear to be scanned without the need for invasive surgery
Current imaging methods, such as CT and MRI scanners, do not have the resolution needed to ‘see’ the smallest working parts of the human ear. This has traditionally meant that the only way for doctors to evaluate the inner ear has been through surgery.
The new device, which could be on the market within five years, uses ultrasound to increase the resolution of the image health professionals are able to capture.
“The resolution is ten times higher than standard imaging technologies such as MRI and CT scanners,” says Rob Anderson, one of the lead scientists working on the project at the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University in Canada . “This allows you to see things ten times smaller – which is the exact resolution you need to see the small structures inside the ear.”
Community Ear Imaging
World’s first ultrasound imaging ear probe is not much bigger than a car key, leading to hopes that one day community health professionals will be able to provide high quality imaging services outside of an acute setting and transform the way hearing services are delivered.
“It is certainly our goal to eventually get this technology into community practice” said Jeremy Brown, another scientist working on the imaging project. “We are very excited to move on to the next stage of clinical trials.”
Rob Adamson and Jeremy Brown from the School of Biomedical Engineering, along with Dr. Manohar Bance from Dalhousie University, are the brains behind the invention.