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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.