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The incidence of oral cancer is high in rural areas due to the consumption of tobacco. Photo: Bloomberg
The incidence of oral cancer is high in rural areas due to the consumption of tobacco. Photo: Bloomberg

Bengaluru startup builds AI tool to screen oral cancer

  • Atom360, which has collaborated with AIIMS Delhi and Bhubaneswar, has created an app, Berry Care, to detect suspicious lesions in the mouth, which could indicate oral cancer

BENGALURU : Health screening camps have come to a complete halt due to covid-19, but a Bengaluru-based startup has been using its AI tool on smartphones to continue detecting possible cases of oral cancer.

Atom360, which has collaborated with AIIMS Delhi and Bhubaneswar, has created an app, Berry Care, to detect suspicious lesions in the mouth, which could indicate oral cancer. This is one of the three most common types of cancers in India, accounting for 30% of all cancers. Nearly one million people die of oral cancer in India every year.

The team at Atom360 has been working in states across the country and has captured 10,000 images of the mouth to check for cancer. The collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi and Bhubaneswar, apart from other hospitals, helps them decipher the data collected, explained Rizma Banu, co-founder of Atom360.

The incidence of oral cancer is high in rural areas due to the consumption of tobacco. The app is built in a way to make it easy to use even in rural areas. “Anyone can use the app to take 10 images of their mouth from different angles. The instructions are very easy to follow. Using AI, we work with oncologists to study the unusual lesions, and suggest whether the person needs further health investigations like a biopsy," said Rizma.

Dr U.S. Vishal Rao, head, surgical oncology and robotic surgery at HCG Hospitals said many cases of oral cancer are detected late, which causes unnecessary morbidity and mortality. “The key is early detection. High risk populations are commonly located in regions with limited access to healthcare. With mobile phone penetration so high in India, we can leverage technology to save lives," he said.

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