November 27, 2013

By Andrew Gregory 26 Nov 2013 23:59

Stilton-cheese-2853574

Originally developed for farmers to test the ripeness of their product, medics have now found it can detect the life-threatening condition

Lives could be saved thanks to cutting wedge technology – a cheese scanner which can spot liver disease.

Originally developed for farmers to test the ripeness of their product, medics have now found it can detect the life-threatening condition before symptoms appear.

Liver disease affects two million people in the UK and kills 12,000 a year.

While testing for other uses of the Fibroscan, experts discovered it can be used to measure the elasticity of livers.

An ultrasound probe with the £80,000 device, which uses sound waves to assess tissue damage, takes 10 minutes.

The team behind the idea at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust won an NHS Innovation Challenge prize and £100,000 to develop it further.

Dr Neil Guha, part of the pilot, said: “It targets early asymptomatic liver disease at a critical stage when it is still reversible.”

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