UBC researchers develop wearable ultrasound device the size of a Band-Aid

WATCH: UBC researchers say they’ve developed a new device that is a game-changer in ultrasound technology. Catherine Urqhuart reports.

A made-in-B.C. technological breakthrough has the promise of providing easy and cheap access to ultrasound scans.

READ MORE: The end of ‘mystery meat’? UBC researcher develops test to see exactly what’s in your hamburger

Engineers at the University of British Columbia have designed and developed a tiny ultrasound probe. No bigger than a Band-Aid, the ultrasound consists of tiny vibrating drums of polymer resin and costs less than $100.

“These vibrating drums… we have thousands of them in a single ultrasound chip and they vibrate and produce ultrasound,” researcher Carlos Gerardo said.

The device sticks to the skin and can transmit data to a smartphone or tablet. The scanner is also flexible, opening up the technology to a wide range of new uses.

READ MORE: 3D printing: UBC Okanagan researchers find new way to produce living bio-tissues

WATCH: A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia have created a mini, portable ultrasound. Robin Gill reports. 

The Innovators: UBC researchers behind new ultrasound advancement
The Innovators: UBC researchers behind new ultrasound advancement

Edmond Cretu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, says the device generates sonograms that are ones produced by traditional ultrasound devices.

Story continues below advertisement

Cretu says there is still much work to be done until the devices are on the market, joining a wave of promising technology that could change health care.

“Some of them might sound like science fiction but they are already here,” Cretu said.