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Medicine Hardware Hacking Build Science Technology

Medical Imaging With a Hacked LCD Projector 57

An anonymous reader writes "Grad students at UC Irvine have built a spatial frequency domain imaging system using parts from a cheap LCD projector and a digital camera. The system can be used to check the level of bruising or oxygenation in layers of tissue that aren't visible to the naked eye, according to an article in Chemical and Engineering News. An accompanying video shows the series of patterned pulses that the improvised imaging system makes in order to read hemoglobin and fat levels below the surface of the skin. A more sophisticated version of the imaging system is being commercialized by a startup within UC Irvine, called Modulated Imaging. The article and video also describe infrared brain scanners that can non-invasively check for brain bleeds, and multiphoton microscopes that produce stunning images of live skin cells."

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Medical Imaging With a Hacked LCD Projector

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  • Re:south africa (Score:4, Informative)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @09:30PM (#38580540)
    3.1% of the US adult population is in Jail, Prison, Probation or parole. 22% of those for drug offenses and over 50% for non violent crimes. We have the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Double or even triple the rate of any other industrialized nation and dwarfing even totalitarian regimes like North Korea or Iran. We have some of the longest prison terms in the world for non-violent offenses. Or current prison population is the highest its been in US history and is over 5x the second highest peek in our history during the great depression. No, we're Nazi Germany... in the US the justice system is blind to your race... just not your wallet.
  • Re:dont thank us (Score:5, Informative)

    by dmr001 ( 103373 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:16PM (#38581260)
    Sheesh, touchy! FDA approval is based on (typically manufacturer-funded and run) studies that are supposed to prove the safety and efficacy of the drug or medical device. It may not always be perfect, but it is based on holding companies to well-designed, well-run studies - you know, the scientific method.

    The Dalkon Shield ( was approved based on flawed studies, and was a frickin' dirt magnet, with woven strings and plenty of nooks and crannies into which bacteria could set up shop (in the normally sterile intrauterine environment), risking septic shock in users: that is, it killed not just fetuses, but moms.

    You may also recall the sad case of thalidomide (, in wide use throughout Europe, but denied approval by (a brave, lone) FDA staffer based on inadequate study data. We can now thank our lucky stars she did so, given limb reduction deformities that only later on were attributed to the drug (at least in its racemic form).

    There is an example of a market of pharmacologically active compounds not approved by the FDA: herbs and dietary supplements. Most of them purport to "support health" and relieve a variety of ailments, and the market is in the $US billions, but the number shown to actually work better than placebo in the sort of study the FDA uses for drugs hovers slightly above zero. In terms of what people actually use in common practice (well, my practice anyway - I'm a cheapskate family physician who sticks to older generic drugs) herbs and supplements aren't significantly cheaper. I've got quite a few sophisticated (and not so sophisticated) patients who use supplements regularly, based on thin or non-existant evidence, including a fair amount of folks who are going to die sooner (for example, by avoiding cholesterol medicine despite heart conditions) as a result of wanting to stick to "natural medicine." Caveat emptor, I suppose.

  • Re:dont thank us (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:41PM (#38581432)

    Because a hundred years ago or so the public just got fed up with all these incredibly dangerous medical devices and procedures out there, all advertised as safe by outright quacks and fraudsters and plenty of people who believed deeply that what they sold was safe. So laws were passed that medical devices and procedures need to be tested for safety. Now certainly you're allowed to build your own device that does the same thing if you want, but you can not sell the product to other people without proving that it's safe first.

    In other words, you're allowed to be unsafe to yourself but you can't be unsafe if it involves other people.

    The customers are not medical experts and so they rely on others to tell them if something is safe or not. Radium used to be given to people for medical purposes and everyone basically knew it was safe because radiation was the current wonder drug, and doctors swore by it, except that they were flat out wrong and caused vast numbers of deaths from cancer.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp