LA MESA (CBSLA.com) — Technology developed 15 years ago for the United States military may now help women in the fight against breast cancer.
Ken Wright of San Diego created a laser technology for the U.S. Navy that allowed systems to see objects even in incredibly murky water.
This technology led wright to develop his latest invention — The Eclipse.
“You could actually take that same technology and look into tissue and look at rogue cells or diseased tissues,” Wright said. “With your traditional home self breast exam, you’re feeling around for bumps, but with the eclipse what you’re doing is actually seeing visually what’s happening.”
The Eclipse, which is handheld and radiation-free, is used in the same way a home breast exam is performed, except when you use it, as you would perform an examination at home, the device collects a number of images.
“Algorithms and our smart technology actually takes all those little images and puts it back together into a palatable image of each breast, and then each month you can see if there’s change,” Wright said.
The device also allows you to keep track of when you performed your exams, and gives you the ability to save the images onto your computer. You can also upload them into The Pink Cloud, which is a network of Eclipse users. From there, you can keep images private or share them with your doctor.
According to Dr. Han Chiu, an adviser at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center, most women don’t perform exams because they don’t know what to feel for.
“They don’t know what they’re looking for,” Dr. Chiu said. “They might kind of remember. You have 40,000 women dying of this a year, and that isn’t necessary!”
While the Eclipse is not meant as a replacement of a mammogram, Wright says he is working on an alternative to the uncomfortable procedure at his invention lab in La Mesa, which CBS2/KCAL9’s Suzie Suh got an exclusive look at.
“Very comfortable that you can lay down, (it) displays breast against chest wall instead of compression, and it’s actually light looking down into it, and giving signal back, and telling you what you looked at,” Wright said.
While Wright says his wife and daughter are the inspiration for his work, he hopes his inventions will help save lives through early detection.
“We’re really trying to break some barriers here and get tools that allow women to have more empowerment,” Wright said.
For more information on the Eclipse technology, including contact and pre-order, visit the website here.