A new device would make at-home breast screenings much more accurate. Currently, most women do (or should do) the three finger lump test to check for abnormalities in the breasts. But this new device brings technology into the equation.
Ken Wright, CEO of Eclipse Breast Health Technologies, invented underwater filming technology for cloudy water for the Navy. He transitioned that technology to work for breast screening.
The Eclipse is a hand-held device that uses “a cross physics combination of sensors and low level photons (LED lights) to gather images and acquire data.” The device doesn’t detect cancer but identifies changes in the breast tissue, which might encourage users to follow up with a physician. Eclipse compares its use of LED light to that of a digital camera. They say it’s 100% safe and can be used as often as you want.
The device is completely radiation-free and looks similar to a computer mouse with a block attached. Users just move the device over the entire area of each breast and one larger image of the entire breast will be created. Images from the device would be uploaded by the users to their PC via USB device. The images would be stored on Eclipse’s “Pink Cloud” and users could share this information with their doctor. Of you can store your information to a local computer or device.
On August 19 Eclipse launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $650,000. The money raised will go toward manufacturing the device and FDA approval trials. A spokesperson for Eclipse says they expect FDA and CE approval in Q2 FY14 – and then available to main consumers in Q4 2014. For $199 you can become an early adopter of the Eclipse and receive one pre-FDA approval production unit to test out, and you’ll receive the consumer unit once it’s FDA approved.
Eclipse writes that they think the device could be life-changing – “because you can scan images as often as you need to and you don’t have to be (40) to wait for a mammogram — This is not a substitute for a mammogram – but complimentary and used between your yearly visits.”
If the Eclipse is proven to be accurate enough by the FDA, hopefully one day it would be covered by insurance so that most women could have one in their bedside drawer. For now Eclipse is not covered by insurance. The company writes on its Indiegogo page: “Currently, Eclipse in not covered by most insurance. Eclipse is new on the market and we’re working with insurance companies in hopes of making it eligible.”
The only downside I see with Eclipse is that if you buy it and already have abnormalities in your breast tissue that you don’t know about, the Eclipse might not detect that unless that abnormality changes. Although if it’s cancer it probably will change in which case the Eclipse is designed to detect that.
The Eclipse Indiegogo page answers a lot of questions that you might have about the device.
Do you think the Eclipse is an exciting breakthrough for breast cancer prevention? Do you think the Eclipse is accessible to the average woman? How might Eclipse Breast Health Technologies ensure that an Eclipse (if it’s FDA approved) can be in every home?