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What if anyone had the tools to see inside their body?

Spectra enables anyone to explore medical physics from their own home without expensive hospital equipment. 
Team member: Jean Rintoul

Medical imaging of the human body provides doctors with a non-invasive method to detect disease earlier, inform ongoing treatment, and improve patient outcomes. Yet two-thirds of the world’s population currently have no access to any form of medical imaging; the remaining one-third has only limited access through hospital procedures that may not be covered by insurance. Leading forms of medical imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, are inaccessible, expensive, and difficult to use or improve.

Mindseye Biomedical’s Spectra allows anyone to safely experiment with and use medical imaging in their own home. The open-source medical imaging device uses the same method as a CT scan for real-time, inexpensive image reconstructions. The small, portable tool is safe and cost-effective to implement. After installing the software, users wrap the sensor belt around the body part to receive real-time results. 

“Personal computers changed computing and smartphones changed the camera industry — if medical imaging could become as accessible and ubiquitous, healthcare would move forward much faster.”
Jean Rintoul, Principal Consultant at Mindseye Biomedical and Spectra team lead

The Spectra kit.

With Spectra, Mindseye Biomedical hopes to create a medical imaging community to iterate the open-source tool and add to an open database for better diagnostic solutions. Prototype users have expressed interest in using Spectra across healthcare, from replacing medical X-rays to taking it into ambulances and field zones where MRI and CT scans are unavailable.

“Looking even further forward and with improvements to the base technology, I see this imaging technique being used preventatively. Imagine if we all got regular scans and then used machine learning algorithms to detect changes we should be worried about.”
Jean Rintoul, Principal Consultant at Mindseye Biomedical and Spectra team lead

Learn more about Spectra in Hackaday, Geeky Gadgets, Electronics Lab,, and the Amp Hour.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve spotlighted the cohort teams and the tools they’re working on in the Tool Foundry Journal. Read more about Feles, MakeItSo, Octopi, and On-Target Cards and subscribe to our newsletter to follow the cohort’s progress. 

Published: 09/26/2019