COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — Listening to your favorite music could save your life. Researchers Columbus have been investigating musical sound waves as a way to detect cancer.
"We're at at the forefront of that, and that's what has doctors so excited," said Dr. Bill Timmons, owner and founder of Elastance Imaging LLC.
Timmons, a biomedical engineer, teamed up with musician and composer Ken McCaw to test how musical tones entering the body react to what they encounter.
"We put the vibrations of sound against the body, play the musical cord into the body," said Timmons.
The technology is non-invasive. Timmons demonstrated that you lay down on a resonator that pushes chosen sound waves and frequencies through the body.
"I send a waveform through the body, that's based on the harmonic series. It's a series of musical chords and there are individual notes that make up the waveforms, " said McCaw. "These are the individual notes that are going through the body and each one of the notes, the object that the sound hits is going to react differently to each one of the notes."
By using an ultrasound, data can be collected and processed by looking at how fast or slow the sound moves through the body.
"Things that are moving fast we code them in red," said Timmons. "Things that are moving slow, we code them in blue."
Images that turn up blue are a good sign, but Timmons says a sound wave that shows red could potentially be cancerous.
Right now their technology is still being tested, but one day the pair hopes to make it a reality.
"You could be sitting with a set of headphones, laying on the resonator with a set of headphones, listening to music and at a certain time, we're taking the scan and you don't even know," said McCaw.