April 4, 2024

ACT For Health welcomes Atom 360 to its portfolio

Oral cancer ranks as a major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where it’s among the top three cancers. In India, the disease presents a significant public health concern, causing over 5 deaths every hour primarily due to late diagnoses—at an advanced stage in over 80% of cases, where treatments are less effective. Key risk factors contributing to this include tobacco and alcohol use, betel quid chewing in specific cultures, and HPV infections.

Late detection stems from limited disease awareness, inadequate screening, and social stigma, contributing to high mortality. However, various studies indicate that early detection, especially in high-risk groups, could notably improve survival rates to 90% and potentially save nearly INR 250 Cr in public healthcare expenditure. Moreover, the current visual oral examination (VOE) screening method has various limitations, including the need for clinical expertise, subjectivity in accuracy rates, and high costs. Therefore widespread, cost-effective, and efficient screening methods are essential, particularly in areas with high tobacco and alcohol use.

Taking cognizance of the urgency and need for ensuring greater access and affordability of oral cancer screening, ACT For Health is proud to support Atom360 – a digital health-tech startup committed to combating oral cancer in India. Berry.care, Atom360’s patented innovative solution, utilises AI to analyse oral cavity images from a smartphone app, aiming for early detection in hard-to-reach areas. The tool is easily operable by community health workers, demands minimal training, and delivers high accuracy rates, as compared to visual examination, at an extremely low cost. This approach could transform oral cancer screening by enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and broadening reach.

ACT will be supporting Atom360 to conduct large-scale screening and clinical validation of its solution in partnership with the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology and prominent cancer institutions. This effort seeks to establish the solution’s effectiveness and we’re excited to support it to scale and reach the last mile effectively.

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