A breakthrough technology developed by researchers at the renowned Mayo Clinic to help spot liver disease at the critical early stage is now on its way to hospitals via GE Healthcare. Introduced today, GE’s new MR-Touch uses low frequency sound waves to visually measure tissue stiffness – a measurement that for centuries has been done by hand via a doctor’s touch and is still used today when first looking for warning signs.
Although abnormal tissue stiffness can actually be a cause of some diseases, doctors aren’t able to reach many parts of the body in order to make an evaluation by touch. And conventional imaging technologies don’t allow them to detect tissue stiffness. By licensing the technology from Mayo, GE is introducing a tool — which was recently cleared by the FDA – that can give doctors a non-invasive method to detect changes in liver tissue.
As the Mayo researchers explain in their magazine, the ability to detect disease early can dramatically change the game: “Your liver responds to many diseases that damage its cells by developing scar tissue or fibrosis. If poked, a healthy liver is very soft. A liver that has developed fibrosis is firmer, and if the condition progresses to cirrhosis, the liver can be almost rock-hard. The critical point: if detected early, fibrosis of the liver can in many cases be treated. Once the disease progresses to cirrhosis, the condition is irreversible. About half of all patients diagnosed with cirrhosis will die within five years unless they receive a liver transplant.”
Read today’s announcement
Learn more about GE’s healthymagination strategy and new technologies from our Global Research teams in these GE Reports stories:
* “New miniature ultrasound puts power in docs’ hands”
* “A closer look at GE’s pocket-sized Vscan ultrasound”
* “$1,000 genome project advances to NIH round two”
* “A look in the lab with GE’s bioscience researchers”
* “Vital signs to go wireless with GE’s body sensors”