Brigham and Women’s Developing Next Generation Brain Scans
New England Council member Brigham and Women’s Hospital is developing technology that could revolutionize how doctors diagnose and treat brain cancer. Through its startup accelerator, Innovation Hub, the Brigham is helping to fund a new app called BrainSpec that can quickly and easily examine the chemistry in a patient’s brain.
Dr. Alex Lin, a director of the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at Brigham and Women’s and professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, first had the idea for BrainSpec a decade ago, and support from Innovation Hub is now making it a reality. The app uses a technology called MRI technology to measure chemical levels in the brain. It then is able to read and analyze those results in a matter of minutes. Currently, those levels can only be interpreted by highly-trained professionals using expensive equipment.
“This software will allow us to take (processing a patient) from three days to three minutes,” Dr. Lin said. “That’s the reason we felt this was something we needed to develop. We have a backlog of patients.”
BrainSpec is currently being beta tested at several hospitals in and around Boston, including Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital, which is also a New England Council member, and should be ready for clinical trials later this year. The New England Council applauds Brigham and Women’s ongoing commitment to supporting cutting edge medical technologies.