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Healthcare tech: Improving cancer treatment outcomes with digital tech

By: Geeta Nair | Published: March 6, 2019 12:55 AM

 

In phase-I, the joint venture intends to launch its products and services in UAE, India and South Africa and in phase-II it would expand the offerings to rest of Asia, Europe and rest of Africa.

 

Digital pathology solutions company OptraScan has developed a cancer diagnostic technology that brings down screening costs by 90% compared to prevailing diagnostic solutions in the Indian market and improves treatment outcomes for breast, prostrate, brain and kidney cancers. Abhi Gholap, founder of OptraScan, says the on-demand, subscription-based, small-footprint digital pathology system will provide a comprehensive digital pathology solution.

OptraScan is working on shifting from conventional microscopy to digital pathology by scanning tissue samples and converting them into digital images, then using automated systems based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for diagnosis. The small footprint and light weight of the equipment makes it easy to use and OptraScan has offered options of purchase or pay per used model. It has started manufacturing diagnostic equipment from its facility in Pune with an initial investment of `50 crore, Gholap said.

Once the tissue slide is digitised, the image can be stored, shared in real time and sent to consultants. Expertise is not required at every pathologist’s stop as the data travels to the automated solutions and only complicated cases go to the next level of oncologists.

OptraScan, with its R&D status from the department of science and industrial research, got clearance from the government of India as an approved medical device to provide real-time access to digitised tissue samples and cancer cases in the country to improve clinical turnaround time. It has done pilot projects in 21 different pathology sites including for Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Zydus Pharma and Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital in Pune. It has covered 10,000 cancer patients. Similar studies were done in Europe for the CE regulatory clearance there. “We will first focus on the emerging market and then look at developed markets,” Gholap said. The company sold 50 systems last year and plans to sell 200 systems this year.

Gholap is getting into a joint venture with GSK Velu’s Neuberg Diagnostics. This new JV combines Neuberg’s histopathology and cytology services with advanced digital pathology capabilities offered by OptraScan. The venture’s services comprise digitisation of tissue slides, storage and archiving, slide discussions and digital learning modules, automated slide processing platforms and second-opinion tele-consulting services.

In phase-I, the joint venture intends to launch its products and services in UAE, India and South Africa and in phase-II it would expand the offerings to rest of Asia, Europe and rest of Africa.

 


 
 
 

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