Open Water developing cheap, wearable, high-resolution MRI using holograms reform light passing through the body

Red light passes through flesh and bone but it scatters. A hologram can reform the scattered light into an image to see inside the body at high resolution.

Sound is used to focus the system. It changes the red light to orange and enables an orange light under a sensor to create a hologram. The sonic points are moved and rapidly scanned to form images.

This will also detect cancer at an early stage. This will save millions of lives.

Compact portable medical imaging will enable most of the developing world to also have access to medical imaging to improve medicine in poorer countries.

It can also be used for reading and writing to the brain and for non-invasive brain interfaces. There are 2 billion with brain diseases who can be helped with this technology.

This will let people know whether someone is having a bleed out or clot type of stroke. Widespread availability of cheap MRI will save nearly millions lives worldwide every year.

In 2010, worldwide prevalence of stroke was 33 million, with 16.9 million people
having a first stroke. Stroke was the second-leading global cause of death behind
heart disease, accounting for 11.13% of total deaths worldwide. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 129,000 people a year.

Inventor Mary Lou Jepsen shows how we can use red light to see and potentially stimulate what’s inside our bodies and brains. Taking us to the edge of optical physics, Jepsen unveils new technologies that utilize light and sound to track tumors, measure neural activity and could possibly replace the MRI machine with a cheaper, more efficient and wearable system.

Mary Lou leads the Open Water startup in developing this technology.

Openwater is startup focused on devising a new generation of imaging technologies, with high resolution and low costs, enabling medical diagnoses and treatments, and a new era of fluid and affordable brain-to-computer communications. The firm’s vision – changing how we read and write our bodies and brains – leverages important inventions in opto-electronic and holographic systems, using red and benign near-infrared light, which penetrate our flesh and bones. The goal is to use these technologies to build better, faster and cheaper solutions in healthcare – for strokes, cancer and many diseases, all working non-invasively – without opening the body or brain.

They want to create a wearable to enable us to see the inner workings of the body and brain at high resolution. Using novel opto-electronics we aim to replace the functionality of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) with a true wearable enabling constant monitoring. Implications are broad for detection and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, internal bleeding, mental diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and beyond – for communication via thought.

We use an utterly unconventional approach that enables us to leapfrog MRI technology by using the scattering of the body or the brain itself to focus infrared light to scan the brain or body bit by bit or voxel by voxel. This is enabled by LCDs with pixels small enough to create reconstructive holographic images that neutralize the scattering and enable scanning at MRI resolution and depth coupled with the use of body-temperature detectors. These LCDs and detectors line the inside of a ski-hat, bandage or other clothing. We are making our own sub-components to do this in the vast factories that make the world’s consumer electronics- custom designed to both record and even to modulate the interference of intensity and phase in the near infrared regime with the video-rate computer generated holograms integrated with embedded detectors. We can scan out the brain or body systematically or selectively. This basic system can be used in reverse, to write, to focus light to any area of interest in the body or brain (to irradiate tumors for example).

This technology enables continuous scanning of the body and brain in the form of a true wearable the size of a ski-hat or bandage. The implications of this architecture are profound for healthcare and can even enable communication with thought alone (as has been well documented by neuroscientists using the room size MRI scanners). With read/write ability – we may be able to upload/download and augment our memories, thoughts, and emotions with a ski-hat form factor, non-invasively.


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