Finnish Innovation Identifies Skin Cancer in Seconds
VTT Technical Research Centre has recently developed a new type of lightweight, handheld camera which can detect early stages of skin cancer in two seconds. The ultraprecision hypersphectral camera identifies the early signs which are invisible to the naked eye.
The device represents a major development and break-through as, according to statistics from VTT, skin cancer rates have been increasing in Finland due to aging and UV damage to the skin resulted from prologued exposure to the sun.
A preliminary test has recently been run by VTT in collaboration with universities and hospitals in Helsinki whereby the camera was tested on skin areas with field cancerisation such as actinic keratoses and the results look promising. The camera works by both examining large areas of skin at once as well as by taking enlarged images of the tested areas. The images are captured in up to 70 narrow wavelengths whilst a normal camera only uses three.
The generated image is presented in a 3D graphic showing all the skin layers and different types of tissues can thus be identified by their reflected spectra. The images are then processed on a computer which allows for the identification of the exact position and size of a tumor.
The innovation has been patented in the US as well as in Finland and has officially been registered by Mr Heikki Saari, who is the researcher and scientist behind this new device. The camera is however owned by the University of Jyväskylä and can be used for applications of a more generic nature too.
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