A new portable, non-invasive brain scanner is set to speed-up the diagnosis of brain injuries and stroke types by creating an immediate 3-D image of the brain. The device is expected to save lives and minimize brain damage and associated rehabilitation costs.
It has potential for use in emergency departments, ambulances, and remote locations around the world, and could have the same life-saving potential as the widespread introduction of defibrillators did 20 years ago.
The device is being developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) and EMvision Medical Devices Pty Ltd, with technology licensed to EMvision by UniQuest, UQ’s commercialization company.
EMvision CEO John Keep, a former CEO of Queensland Diagnostic Imaging, said the device had the potential to disrupt the market as it was portable, low-cost and non-ionizing, which meant it was safe for repeated use.
“It’s powered by an algorithm that maps the brain tissue using safe, low-power microwaves to produce 3-D images in minutes,” he said.
“In the case of stroke, the 3-D image would enable medical professionals to quickly identify if damage is a hemorrhage or clot and to treat the patient accordingly, saving precious time.
EMvision is developing and commercializing the technology and refining its prototype to ensure it meets safety and efficacy requirements and integrates seamlessly into clinical pathways.
Keep said the scanner—the result of a decade of research and development—had the potential to be one of Australia’s most successful university commercialization stories.
UniQuest CEO Dr. Dean Moss said stroke cost Australia about $5 billion annually and early intervention improved survival rates and treatment outcomes.