According to WHO, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women globally each year. In India, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes and its incidence is on the rise in both rural and urban India. Early detection is recognized as the best way to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival rates.
In 2007, the year the founder Mihir Shah was getting married, his soon-to-be mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and survived, wearing a wig to the wedding. The incident spurred Mihir to establish UE Lifesciences with co-founders Matthew Campisi and Bhaumik Sanghvi. When they started to dig deeper, they learnt that over 90% of women in the developing world did not have access to any mechanism of early detection of breast cancer. To fill this gap, they came up with ‘iBreastExam’, an early screening device for breast cancer.
iBreastExam uses innovative sensor and material technology combined with software computing to accurately identify cancerous lesions and tumours. This breakthrough technology has the potential to dramatically improve the accessibility and affordability of breast cancer screening. It is a portable, radiation-free and non-invasive US FDA approved device ensuring that the screenings are safe, pain-free and private. They have also proposed an innovative pay-per-use model – instead of targeting direct sales – which allows doctors in every corner of the country to start screening women for breast cancer at the earliest.
The 2nd generation iBreastExam sensor technology has improvements (spatial resolution, data frequency, power consumption, ease of use, clinical efficacy) by orders of magnitude over the first generation technology, helping expand access to many more women globally.
Today, iBreastExam has reached over 350,000 women in 12 countries and has aided in the early diagnosis of 150 cases of breast cancer. With devices currently on the market, over 1 million women will soon receive a safe, affordable and radiation-free breast exam in the convenience of a community health center or their home. iBreastExam is commercially market cleared by US FDA, CE mark and eight other regulatory bodies in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Middle East.
In 2017, GE Healthcare announced a distribution partnership with UE LifeSciences to bring iBreastExam to women in 25 countries. UE LifeSciences has also forged strategic partnerships with big pharma and leading medical device distribution channels. The Pfizer Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation are currently sponsoring screening programs in Burma and Brazil.
Mihir is Founder and CEO of UE LifeSciences and a computer engineer by training. He has 15+ years of experience in bringing disruptive science from academia to the clinic.
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