The robotic glove was designed by two engineers (Fransiska Hadiwidjana and Elishai Ezra) working with a Harvard Medical School student (Andrew Bishara). The inspiration came from X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who asked the group to create a project that could help 1 billion people in just 10 years. Med Sensation promises to do just that. The project, which is currently in its second iteration, sports a series of sensors that detect sound, vibration and temperature. The glove also features a buzzer system to get the uses attention.
"If you apply too much pressure on the examined tissue, then the buzzer goes on," explains Ezra.
The third version, which is already in development, will include micro-ultrasounds embedded in the glove's fingertips. The information they recover will be wirelessly transmitted to another device. The goal, Ezra says, is to "quantify touch."
Med Sensation has seemingly endless capabilities. It would allow for accurate breast cancer screenings at home, detecting the exact size and location of any lump so that patients know whether or now they need to see a doctor. The glove could also detect anything from an enlarged lymph node to an enlarged liver, and diagnose abdominal pain or heart abnormalities thanks to the ultrasound sensors.
The team behind Med Sensation hopes to get their gloves into medical school first, where they can be used to help doctors improve their examination skills. The next step would be to get physicians using the gloves, and eventually the team hopes to be able to offer their creation directly to consumers, with an easy to use version that would "allow people to do a physical exam themselves."
If they can pull all that off in ten years they could easily help save thousands if not millions of lives, and improve the lives of 1 billion people.
via Fast Company