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SCTIMST develops OralScan handheld device for detecting oral cancer

Our Bureau, MumbaiSaturday, October 31, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Sascan Meditech, a startup incubated at TiMED, a technology business incubator of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram has developed OralScan, a hand held imaging device for screening, detection and biopsy guidance of oral cancer.

OralScan is a Make- in- India initiative with seed funding from the scheme National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) of Department of Science and Technology (DST). Oral scan was designed and developed entirely in India and supported by the biotechnology ignition grant of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), INVENT (DST), and Kerala Start-Up Mission. The company recently received investment from Unicorn India Ventures, said the release.

“Kerala government plans to compile a registry of cancer patients in the state as part of efforts to codify its various initiatives against the deadly disease. These kind of innovations have come forward to brace this change and also appreciating the efforts of Business incubator TIMED- SCTIMST at this time,” Kerala State Health Minister KK Shailaja said.

According to Dr Subhash Narayanan, CEO of Sascan, oral cancer is a growing concern in India with more than 80,000 fresh cases reported each year. The disease has a high mortality rate because of the delay in detection. Current practice relies on oral examinations using a torch light to detect early stage cancers of the oral cavity. Varies studies have demonstrated that this screening technique is not very reliable and often oral potentially malignant lesions (OPMLs) go undetected in the early stages.

“This device is expected to have good demand in general dentistry, oral medicine, oral/maxillofacial pathology and surgery,” said Balram, Engineer, CEO of the incubator Sree Chitra.

Varies studies have demonstrated that this screening technique is not very reliable and often oral potentially malignant lesions (OPMLs) go undetected in the early stages. Even experienced clinicians find it difficult to locate the optimal site for a biopsy based on conventional oral examination. This leads to multiple biopsies, increased expenditure and false negative reports which can delay diagnosis and outcome.

The device will be marketed at a price of Rs. 5.9 lakhs. This will be a onetime investment for hospitals and laboratories without any additional costs of consumables, said the statement issued by the SCTIMST.

 
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