Doctor diagnosed himself with cancer using his iPhone

Doctor diagnosed himself with cancer using his iPhone

Hypochondria affects a lot of people to varying degrees. While you may not be heading to the doctors every time you have a headache and a cough, it's easy to over-think one or two symptoms and start thinking you've got something seriously wrong with you, only to find out that it was something fairly common.

The internet doesn't help with this. You can search for your symptoms and find a number of websites that inform you of the 30 possible deadly diseases you may have, and now your day is ruined. It would be a lot easier if we could run quick checks on ourselves, just to give us the peace of mind, wouldn't it?

Butterfly iQ Credit: The Butterfly Network

It turns out that there is a device being developed that could do just this, and all you would have to do is connect it to an iPhone. The Butterfly Network is a company that is developing an ultrasound device called the Butterfly iQ. The device provides the user with a diagnosis straight to their iPhone. But while it sounds a little out-there, it has already been used successfully - by a doctor no less.

Dr John Martin is a vascular surgeon living in Denver, Colorado. As Chief Medical Officer of the Butterfly Network, he had access to the device when he felt a small mass in his throat. Using the device to scan the area, the results showed that he had metastatic cancer.

doctor John Martin Credit: YouTube / Butterfly Network

The doctor, who has been an expert in the field for 40 years, told The Daily Mail:

"I noticed this mass in my neck. I realised I was holding the diagnostic study I needed in my hand.

"I walked across to a technician, and we looked at each other, and I flew home the next morning. But the first thing he thought when he saw the image was that he was thankful his team had invented the ultrasound technology."

After checking the results were correct with a technician, Martin realised that the cancer had started on his tongue and spread to his throat. He underwent surgery on the tumour and after six weeks of radiation, it has now been completely cured. You can hear about his story in the video below:

Speaking to Technology Review, the doctor continued:

"To look at this as just an ultrasound device is like looking at an iPhone and saying it’s just a phone. If you have a window into the body where anyone can afford it, everyone can use it, and everyone can interpret it, it becomes a heck of a lot more than an ultrasound device."

The company believes that this technology can help people suffering from all kinds of illnesses, from diabetes to lung conditions. The Butterfly iQ will be used in clinical trials in 2018, and eventually, high-risk patients will be able to take one home with them to help spot things before they become major problems.