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Medical Researchers have made measurements suggesting that application of a Direct Current (DC) voltage prior to and/or during the Radio Frequency Ablation of cancerous tissue can improve the efficiency of the ablation process, resulting in larger areas of ablation than can otherwise be achieved.
A prototype system, consisting of a software-programmable DC power supply incorporating sensors for measurement of Voltage, Current, Power, Impedance and Temperature as well as a control port for controlling a commercial Radio Frequency Ablation System (in this case, a Boston Scientific RF3000) has been built and demonstrated to provide a tool for further research and hopefully in the longer term, equipment useful in clinical situations.
The system is interfaced via a Bluetooth link to an Android or IOS mobile phone or tablet which runs an App that controls and monitors the ablation process. The App can program ablation sequences as a series of steps that define a ””cooking profile”” and continuously monitor and record the measurement parameters. Sequence commands take the form of: ””Apply ramped DC power from 50mW to 100mW over the first 5 minutes, then continue this while further applying an RF Power of 40W for another 5 minutes”“. If measured parameters extend past pre-defined limits, the ablation is cancelled for safety concerns.Data logs (and corresponding ablation sequences) can be saved directly from the phone/tablet to cloud-based storage for further analysis. The system is capable of recording in a matter of minutes what researchers have previously spent years investigating.
This development shows the potential of IoT connectivity and how taking advantage of existing infrastructure such as phones, tablets and the internet can drastically reduce the cost of development of sophisticated systems, because the display, user interface, communications infrastructure and computing platform are already. A relatively small investment in hardware and software can result in powerful connected equipment at a low cost.
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