Cancer detection? There's an app for that

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Cancer detection? There's an app for that

by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter | September 07, 2010
Cell phones could help doctors detect deadly cancers, thanks to a joint effort between the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center (MSCC) of the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in India and Sana, a research group at Harvard/MIT.

Sana's software includes certain automated questionnaires directed toward patients with a high risk of developing oral cancer and other diseases. If a patient answers "yes" to a majority of the questions, a health care worker will then take a lesion picture using the phone's camera. The patient's data, picture included, is then uploaded for the doctors.

It only takes a cancer specialist two minutes to determine from that cell phone information if the patient has cancer, according to a report from Asian News International. Diagnosis can take place either from the hospital's electronic medical records system or through the preloaded software on the phone.

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"We have already screened about 400 high-risk cancer patients and detected numerous lesions using the Sana platform," Dr. Paul Salins, MSCC medical director, told The Hindu Business Line.

The doctors hope to extend this software and use it to cover other chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Sana's software also allows medical investigations to be encoded onto smart phones, enabling ECG, ultrasound, X-ray and CT studies to be read. It can also link specialists with clinicians through the two-way sharing of medical data.