THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With early detection, it is possible to cure cancer fully. Taking this as an advantage, a medical technology start-up based in the capital has developed a unique device called ‘OralScan’ which could detect oral cancers early. Sascan Meditech Pvt Ltd, an ISO 13485-certified start-up at the technology incubation centre for medical devices in the biomedical technology wing of Sree Chitra Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, is engaged in the development of non-invasive, point of care solutions for management of oral cancers.
OralScan is a hand-held multi-modal imaging device developed indigenously for early detection of oral cancer and biopsy guidance. The product will be available in the market within a month. The device has an imaging camera for detection of oral pre-cancers at the point-of-care. It can be placed in a patient’s mouth to easily screen oral tissues and capture multispectral images on illumination with LED light to evaluate the tissue status in real-time using a machine learning algorithm.
This portable device can store images in its internal memory or on the cloud and makes cancer screening as easy and painless as taking a picture. The device can also be used for biopsy guidance and to delineate tissue margins during cancer surgery. OralScan has been validated though a clinical study covering 314 patients and correlation of pathological data from 114 patients has given a sensitivity of 83 per cent and specificity of 72 per cent to discriminate between normal and premalignant tissues of the oral cavity.
According to Dr Subhash Narayanan, founder of the start-up, the product will be available in the market within a month and it is the first of its kind device in the world which can detect oral cancers early.
“The product will hit the market soon. Due to Covid-19 spread, we had to postpone the launch of the product. However, it will be available in the market once the lockdown is lifted. The product was developed by a five-member team led by me. It took five years of research and hard work. Initially, the company was functioning in Bengaluru, Later, it was shifted to the incubation centre here with the support of the state government. We got fund from the start-up mission, Sree Chitra Institute, and this helped our research in a better way and finally, we made it,” Subhash said. The product will cost around `4 to 5 lakh. The target customers are hospitals and diagnostic centres.