|Eclipse digital breast self-exam device (Eclipse) |
A new radiation-free technology could help women scan their breasts for cancer-causing tumors from the comfort of their homes.
This week, Eclipse Breast Health Technologies launched a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo for a new handheld device, about the size of a computer mouse, that the company claims is five times more sensitive than the human hand at detecting lumps or changes.
The Carlsbad, California-based startup hopes to raise $650,000 in funding to not only move the product out of beta and into the marketplace, but to give it to 1,000 women who can provide user feedback.
"The goal is to have Eclipse in the hands of more than a million women by the end of 2015 and beyond 20 million within five years," said company founder Ken Wright. "We also want to create and distribute thousands of community kits for developing countries by the end of 2015 and hundreds of thousands within five years."
Wright says he co-engineered a system for US Navy submarines to "see" in murky water to identify obstructions down to a molecular level. In developing the Eclipse, he combined sensors and LED lights to produce images of a woman's breasts. As a user moves the device over the skin, the images together create macro images of each breast to be viewed on a computer screen or mobile device.
Users can wirelessly transfer the images to the Eclipse software on a computer or to a user's Pink Cloud account. Depending on the user's preference, each woman can choose to keep her images private, share them with her doctor, or anonymously share them with other members of the Pink Cloud community.
The idea is that women would scan a healthy breast for a baseline and then use the Eclipse once a month. Over time, the device can track changes and alert users to anything concerning, and the company claims the technology is 100 percent safe and radiation free.
Wrights says he hopes to start shipping a device in March 2014 for somewhere between $99 and $199, assuming the campaign is successful.
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