Medical Tactile Launches Wireless Breast Cancer Screening System
Medical Tactile, Inc. (MTI), with the support of The Pre-Mammogram Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated, today announced that they have developed a pre-commercial SureTouch Wireless system that uses 3G-enabled tactile sensor technology for breast cancer screening.
According to a publication funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, 1.6 million women worldwide were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and 425,000 women died from the disease. Although early detection is the best means to a good prognosis for breast cancer, developing countries are particularly affected because 80 percent of women 30-70 years old live in these regions of the world, while only 10 percent of mammogram procedures are conducted there.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that approximately 70 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancers are found by women through their sense of touch during regular self-exams. Unfortunately, the average-size lump found through self-exam is approximately 2.5cm, while the average-size lump found by trained clinicians using palpation is approximately 1cm.
The SureTouch system can detect masses as small as 0.5cm by using tactile sensor technology, also known as stress elastography, to measure the reactive pressures generated by cancerous tissue, which can be more than 100 times harder than normal tissue. The current SureTouch system has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for documenting the Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) in the United States and is already used in China, India, Turkey and sixteen other countries as a screening tool for breast cancer. The SureTouch Wireless system can be used effectively to diagnose women of all ages and is designed primarily for use in medical centers by low-skill technicians to provide affordable, radiation-free, comfortable and clinically effective breast exams. 3G wireless connectivity also enables remote evaluation by medical specialists as well as more efficient technical support.
"The Pre-Mammogram Foundation is proud to make SureTouch more accessible to women everywhere," said Eli Yered, Chief Financial Officer of the Pre-Mammogram Foundation. "The many benefits of the current SureTouch system will be amplified by enabling connectivity via 3G wireless technology."
The SureTouch Wireless system is a small, easy-to-use device that consists of a 3G-enabled sensor, touchscreen display, and the SureTouch network. During a breast exam, the clinician uses the sensor to scan the breast and collect images of the tissue. A Bluetooth wireless module provides two-way communication between the sensor and display, allowing the display to provide real-time feedback to help the clinician collect proper data. When the clinician is finished performing the SureTouch Wireless CBE exam, the patient information and exam data are automatically uploaded to the SureTouch Network. Centralized servers on the network receive and process the data, which clinicians can then access using a web browser. Clinicians also have the ability to replay previous exams, compare images from multiple exams and print summary reports.
MTI developed the sensor technology and the application software, The Pre-Mammogram Foundation provided project management and clinical assessment and Qualcomm supported the effort with an initial grant, project management and engineering support in the form of industrial, mechanical and hardware design. Qualcomm also provided software development and integration support to facilitate sending exams via the 3G network.
"SureTouch has the potential to change the way the world detects breast cancer," said MTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jae Son, Ph.D. "With the development of SureTouch Wireless, we can now bring the benefits of early detection to countless numbers of women all over the world, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, who would otherwise not have access."
Source: Medical Tactile Inc.