MIT researchers have designed a wearable ultrasound monitor, in the form of a patch, that can image organs within the body without the need for an ultrasound operator or application of gel.
In a new study, the researchers showed that their patch can accurately image the bladder and determine how full it is. This could help patients with bladder or kidney disorders more easily track whether these organs are functioning properly, the researchers say.
This approach could also be adapted to monitor other organs within the body by changing the location of the ultrasound array and tuning the frequency of the signal. Such devices could potentially enable earlier detection of cancers that form deep within the body, such as ovarian cancer.
“This technology is versatile and can be used not only on the bladder but any deep tissue of the body. It’s a novel platform that can do identification and characterization of many of the diseases that we carry in our body,” says Canan Dagdeviren, an associate professor in MIT’s Media Lab and the senior author of the study.