What problem are you trying to solve?
With 1.7M new cases and 522,000 deaths, breast cancer is the most common women’s cancer globally. In developing regions, over 60% of cases are detected at late stages with poor prognosis. 5-year survival is ~50% in these parts vs. 90% in developed countries. Screening improves early detection of cancers by 1.5-2.5 times. The gold standard for screening, (mammography) is clinically limited in women < age 50 (due to the dense breast), expensive, requires trained radiologists to interpret images, culturally unfriendly due to pain and radiation and inaccessible to BoP. Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) and Self Breast Exam (SBE) are high subjective, offer low sensitivity and have clinical limitations in detecting non-palpable lumps at early stages and have had limited clinical success. UE LifeSciences is solving this problem to create effective, affordable, scalable and social acceptable access to breast cancer early detection for women in the developing world.
What is your solution to this problem?
iBreastExam (iBE) uses a patented piezoelectric sensor technology to distinguish harder breast tumours from normal breast tissue, in real-time, at the point of care. Paired with a mobile app, iBE enables a community health worker to provide standardized, objective and an effective breast examination to detect breast lumps at an early stage, affordably. iBE is the first of its kind, clinically validated (85% sensitivity, 94% specificity, 98% negative predictive value), US FDA cleared and European CE marked, hand-held, non-invasive and radiation-free connected device. iBE senses non-palpable lumps, making it more effective than CBE. The device does not require highly trained medical experts for test administration or interpretation. The test is suited for all women, in virtually any setting, with highly limited infrastructure.
Why are you going to win the Best Innovation for Development Award?
While breast cancer is the leading site of cancer in women globally, there are practically no solutions in place to cause early detection in a scalable and socially and culturally acceptable way. Over 1B women are in need for routine breast health examination. With iBreastExam, UELS is addressing this large, clinical need and hopes to improve survival rate. iBE has already demonstrated scale (150,000 women screened), feasibility ($1 per scan) and high-efficacy (85% sensitivity, 94% specificity)