MobileOCT took first prize in the annual Vodaphone America’s Wireless Innovation Project.
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The first prize in the 2014 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project has gone to Israeli medical start up MobileOCT. The company won the competition for its work, in cooperation with Tijuana Mexico’s Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud and San Diego’s nonprofit Scripps Health, in helping the people of the US/Mexico border area detect cervical cancer. It did so by using the new biophotonic technology.
1, 000 low income Southern California border area residents received testing. The company formally received the award at a ceremony last Thursday held at the United Nation in New York.
Biophotonics – the combination of biology and photonics – uses cameras and light to detect photons. MobileOCT has developed a technology which allows people to use their cell phones to detect cervical cancer with biophotonics.
The technology converts any digital camera—even one attached to a smartphone or an endoscope—into a device capable of providing the evidence clinicians need to catch cancer before it develops.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death amongst women worldwide and can take up to twenty years to become symptomatic. This is why early detection is so important.
According to statistics, 235, 000 women die of cervical cancer each year. The current way of screening for the disease is called a pap test, but an estimated 85% of the women in the world are not able to get one.
MobileOCT has also invented an app for mobile devices which can be used together with its coloposcope. The coloposcope is a non-invasive device enabling early detection of cervical cancer. Clinicians get an augmented view regarding potentially cancerous areas, enabling them to identify them earlier and with greater accuracy, while still maintaining the familiarity of the current instrument and procedure.
The device is simply a cell phone with an attached lens that can be used like a microscope. The app takes readings from the device to determine if any cancer cells are present.
The company’s CEO, Ariel Beery said, “We are deeply privileged to be recognized by Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project, and will use the award to bring our low-cost cancer screening technology to the women who need it most. Thanks to the support of Vodafone Americas Foundation, our team will demonstrate the potential of using mobile health solutions to offer cost-effective, life-saving diagnostics to the billions of women around the world without access to good reproductive health services.”
MobileOCT was founded two years ago by its CEO Ariel Beery and by Dr. David Levitz, the company’s chief technological officer. Beery previously led PresenTense, a project which helps young Jewish entrepreneurs create socially-conscious start-ups
Focusing on cervical cancer, MobileOCT is a biophotonics company developing point-of-care solutions for the global market. Its first product was the low cost mobile colposcope for health providers in low-resource settings, a global health priority that requires 200 million screenings per year. The company plans to expand its services into the treatment of other types of cancers within the year.
Vodafone Americas Foundation is a part of the Vodafone telecommunications company’s network of foundations. It declares its mission to be to make an impact through the power of wireless and mobile technology. The Vodafone Americas Foundation believes that the power of wireless and mobile technology to transform global development, improve people’s lives, and advance healthy and sustainable communities. It wants to make a difference by harnessing the power of technology in innovative ways that develop and advance wireless and mobile solutions to serve the world.
The foundation awarded up to $600, 000 to each winner.