Screen and diagnose Oral Cancer with smartphone gadget

Time was when phones were simply for making phone calls and then texting, apps and Internet browsing capabilities came to the mobile world and opened up brand new uses. Now there are so many things we can do on our smartphone that it’s almost mind-boggling and today we have news of a smartphone gadget that can screen and diagnose oral cancer.

Called OScan, this device is a diagnostic tool and will be particularly useful in developing countries. It was developed by researchers at Stanford and working with a smartphone the OScan shows detailed pictures of inside the mouth and also screens for lesions within the oral cavity. In some countries where routine dental check-ups are unknown, oral cancers are a major threat and the OScan could alleviate that issue with its screening capabilities.

Gum packet-sized, the OScan clips to any smartphone camera and has rows of fluorescent light emitting diodes according to medGadget. The fluorescent light make it much easier to spot lesions and dark spots and the use of the smartphone camera means that images of the oral cavity can be transmitted elsewhere for further diagnosis.

The prototype device was engineered by assistant professor of bioengineering Manu Prakash PhD and it will be able to be produced for only a few dollars per unit with high volume production possible. This means it will be ideal for public health initiatives. Although still in testing the OScan is already receiving hugely positive publicity. It came first in the mHealth Alliance Awards and second in the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project.

What are your thoughts on this innovative idea that uses a smartphone as a diagnostic health tool? Let us have your comments.

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