Author: Jessica Naziri

 

There are a slew of “smart” smartphones out there today, but which ones can potentially help save lives and make diagnosis affordable for the billions in need? Cue: MobileOCT, one of the latest start-ups which is well on its way to bringing cervical-cancer assessment to two billion women worldwide who have access to cellphones but no access to qualified physicians.

The Israeli startup MobileOCT, which stands for optical coherence tomography, is developing a low-cost mobile colposcope – the equipment a physician uses to examine a woman’s cervix, combining light, lenses, algorithms and a mobile phone.

“Our technology can help health providers save the over 250,000 women who die unnecessarily every year… by identifying abnormalities in the tissue that indicate cancer in formation quickly, inexpensively and in any setting (hospital, clinic, & mobile),” said Ariel Beery, CEO of MobileOCT.

Here's how it works:

Users attach the device to their mobile phone, follow the instructions given in MobileOCT’s app, and upload the captured data and images to a secured server. That information is then made available to a screening physician who can provide close and continued instruction to the clinician as well as create a patient file to track progress.

And while typical colposcopes used by Western physicians cost between $5,000 and $14,000, the MobileOCT device is only a whopping $400. And, it comes with a case, colposcope, handle and adjustable lights. The case itself is 3D-printed, which removes the cost and time involved with shipping. How's that for saving time and screening cancer?

Cervical cancer takes the lives of more than 275,000 women each year, according to Cervical Cancer Action, and the company’s first target is to help bring that number down.

People say technology is ruining our lives, but here is one of many great devices that demonstrates how much technology will help.

 

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