A handheld device that can monitor lung condition at the bedside would be a useful tool in the fight against COVID-19—and Yifan Chen, PhD, of Waikato University in New Zealand says that with microwave imaging, such a device could be on the market within a year or two. Chen and his research partners have been working on a device like this for over a decade, according to a report in the Waikato Times.

Images of lungs filled with mucus have appeared with stories explaining what the virus can do to your body—but you can’t do X-rays or CT scans every day, [Chen] says.

His vision is a product like a handheld camera, which would work in a similar way to radar – reflecting waves off its target, which could be analyzed to provide an image.

The same scanning technology could be used to screen for breast cancer, Chen said – he’s involved with a clinical trial in China – and for rapid stroke imaging, for example.

Read more from the Waikato Times.

Featured image: Yifan Chen, PhD/courtesy, Waikato University