THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Soon, early detection of breast cancer at an affordable rate will be an easy affair for a developing country like India where breast cancer accounts for approximately 27 per cent of all cancers in women. The C-MET, the Government of India scientific institute under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has developed a cost-effective wearable device and analysis system for early detection and screening of breast cancer. The technology of which has now been handed over to a multinational company M/s Murata Business Engineering India Private Ltd, Hyderabad, a subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing Company, Japan.
Speaking to Express, Dr Seema, who invented the technology, said its wearable device (vest) comprising data acquisition system, analysis system will record and analyse the temperature difference in the cells of the breast using high sensitivity thermal sensors. The sensors placed in the vest can easily identify breast cancer at early stages and the analysis system will provide 2D images of the cancer cells. The entire detection process can be performed in 15-30 minutes and the vest can be used for other members in a community. Though the vest will cost around Rs 400-500, the large-scale commercial production will enable the industry to make it available for one person at a cost of Rs 50, she said.
The initial clinical trials were conducted in 117 patients and around 200 volunteers and the results are in line with the standard diagnostic tools such as mammogram, ultrasound and CT scan. This device can be operated with minimum training and is portable. This device does not inflict any pain or involve any radiation exposure and above all the privacy of the woman is ensured. Hence, this low-cost device has a potential to revolutionise the screening of breast cancer in the country.
It took around four years to develop the technology and device. Now, the device has external components and the C-MET is on a mission to bring all the components inside the vest and is capable to provide 3D images, which will soon be developed, she said.
It was a joint project between C-MET, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Malabar Cancer Centre (MCC). C-MET has filed one US patent for the device. A similar device was developed by a US-based company, but it is yet to make it commercially available.