The Silicon Review
Every year, more than one million women are diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide over half of whom will die from the disease. Though great strides are made towards conquering cancer, the average five year survival rate for women with late stage or advanced breast cancer remains low. On an average only 35% of women with advanced breast cancer live five years after diagnosis. A third of women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage when the disease has a poor prognosis. Delays can give cancer a greater chance to metastasize thereby causing it to spread to other parts of the body, ultimately rendering all treatments expensive and almost useless.
Therefore, early detection through point of care diagnostics – which is a shift away from symptomatic treatment to diagnostic and database driven healthcare is desperately needed. This is where POC has the potential to make immediate changes. The company was setup with the purpose of bringing diagnostics to a larger population around the globe. Today, more than 80% of the people live in rural communities, slums or other remote areas in the absence of proper infrastructure, trained people, electricity, etc. People living there have no access to diagnostics or treatment. Moreover, healthcare workers do not want to go and work in these communities like the paleos of Brazil, the slums of Mumbai, the villages of China and Rawanda and the small remote towns in the US. POC Medical System’s goal is to change this and bring healthcare to everyone through a process which they like to call, “Distributed but connected Point of care” and help people lead a better life. “With this goal in mind POC embarked on its journey 4 years back and decided to prove that this could be done by addressing a key problem which is helping detect Breast cancer early so we could save lives of our mothers, sisters, wives ,” said CEO Sanjeev Saxena.
Introducing a new approach to screening tests
Worldwide, there are over 1.6 Billion women over the age of 40 and less than 4% of the women are currently screened (Globacon 2014 report). Also, according to the report, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and if detected in stage three or four, the prognosis is not a good as many as half of those women detected at this late stage would die. Since there is no screening tool for breast cancer for women in rural communities, most women who get breast cancer in these communities die without even realizing it or being given a chance to do something about it. While the medical community says that the standard of care for breast cancer screening is mammography, it’s interesting to note that only 4% are currently screened.
Realizing the drawbacks of mammography, POC Medical Systems decided to collaborate with Lawrence Livermore National Labs and develop a screening test for Breast Cancer which could be performed on its portable lab-in-a-box technology, the advantage of the Pandora CDxTM which can be taken to the masses in the remotest villages where screening can be performed. In contrast to traditional lab based ELISAS and mammography, the Pandora CDxTM only requires a few drops of blood and does not need to be administered by a highly trained technician.
Bypassing the cultural, geographic and cost barriers of mammography
POC Medical Systems has developed the MammoAlertTM system using the Pandora CDxTM platform which will allow for rapid and low cost portable screening of millions of women for the detection of breast cancer with high accuracy at a minimal cost. The MammoAlertTM requires no trained personnel, and can be used in the remotest of settings where no medical care is available. The MammoAlertTM has been designed such that it can connect via local cellular networks to upload diagnostic information to the proprietary POC cloud. This technology allows for healthcare providers located remote to be able to download this information enabling faster and cheaper treatments to the patients.
The MammoAlertTM aims at reducing healthcare and screening costs for women worldwide to help save lives. The company has just started the process and has already received tremendous interest and orders for which it is trying to build capacity. Every Physician healthcare worker and healthcare volunteer is interested in getting the Pandora CDxTM and MammoAlertTM.
The vision of a new and better healthcare
Having 45 people in the company in the US divided in various teams, i.e., Engineering, Development, Research, Clinical Research, Marketing, Admin and Finance, it is now building a manufacturing group in California, China and Malaysia. Besides this group, the company has a few people in India and in a few other countries as well. There has never been a device in the market which can screen over a 100 patients in one day until now, but the Pandora CDxTM has been designed to gather all the necessary data and as detailed as needed about the women who are being screened to help in tracking and follow-ups.
It will generate data about the women being tested. Not only that, we hope that the data will serve as a valuable database to help in planning future healthcare strategies, drugs, better therapies, treatment protocols and help reduce cost of the total health care system.
Knowing the leader behind POC Medical
Systems, CEO Sanjeev Saxena
Sanjeev Saxena is an experienced International Serial Entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in all aspects of Life Science companies operations from Engineering to Manufacturing to Sales and Marketing to Finance. He is the founder of POC Medical Systems, a Medical Device company in Livermore, California (San Francisco bay area). He has cofounded several Biotech and Medical device companies. He has successfully sold and also taken companies public.
He was also the recipient of the prestigious Udhog Lagu award in India and The European Science award in the UK and was nominated by Ernst and Young for the Entrepreneur of the year award in 2011 in India.