Medical technology companies are focusing more than ever on products that deliver cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. Bioengineering is taking leaps and medical technology innovations are at an all-time rise. Cutting Back on Melanoma Biopsies is one of the most amazing medical technology innovations to have taken place in the recent past.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It has always been impossible to know whether the melanoma’s dangerous-looking moles are actually harmless or not without an invasive surgical biopsy. However, a handheld tool approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology is making the process easier today. The MelaFind optical scanner provides the doctor with additional information that can be used in determining whether or not to order a biopsy instead of definitive diagnosis. This helps in reducing the number of patients left with unnecessary biopsy scars and the added benefit of eliminating the cost of unnecessary procedures. Using missile navigation technologies originally paid for the Department of Defense, the MelaFind technology (MELA Sciences, Irvington, NY) optically scans the surface of a suspicious lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths. Heavy-duty algorithms are used to process the collected signals and matched against a registry of 10,000 digital images of melanoma and skin disease.
Although this isn’t a cure for Melanoma Biopsies, it’s very close to one. Imagine this kind of technology but with more common, dangerous kinds of cancer. Needless to say, several thousands of lives would be saved with this kind of treatment.