Think Pink, Spread Pink
MyCliniCare hopes to be a game-changer by increasing early detection, and spreading awareness.By Rosy Jose
Surgical oncologist Dr. Jayanti Thumsi, who has over 15 years of experience in treating breast cancer, is an ardent supporter of cancer screening startup, MyCliniCare. “To convert Dr. Thumsi from a skeptic to a believer was one of the greatest challenges we faced,” says Carman Kobza, co-founder, and partner of MyCliniCare. “When our team visited her for the first time, she firmly asked our screening specialist to scrub and dress to enter the operation theatre. She had a patient on the operating table prepped for surgery. Our specialist was asked to locate the lump. In only a few minutes, our nervous yet professional screening specialist identified the exact location of the breast lump. And Dr. Thumsi became the biggest and most vocal supporter of breast cancer screening.”
Cancer causes one in six deaths worldwide, making it the second leading cause of death around the world. In 2016, in India alone, 11 lakh new cancer cases were registered, of which 1.16 lakh were new breast cancer cases. While everyone is aware that early detection of cancer gives one a better fighting chance to go into remission, in India, 70% of patients consult the doctor only at the terminal stage. With an aim to change this dreadful scenario, two kindred spirits—Texas-born Carman Kobza and Vinod Raju from India—started MyCliniCare. Combining their expertise in telemedicine and preventive digital diagnostics, the company created a platform that caters to women’s preventive healthcare, especially breast cancer. “Cancer is not bad, not catching cancer (in time) is bad,” says Kobza “With preventive screens and tests in place, it is perfectly possible to avoid needless cancer; 99% cases are curable when detected early.” MyCliniCare started operations three years ago and has performed many breast screen tests across India with its partners. Accenture, Bayer, HP, L&T, Mindtree, Wipro, Siemens, AMD, Metro, GrameenKoota, and Ritz-Carlton are some of the organizations MyCliniCare has collaborated with to provide on-site education on breast cancer and screening programmes.
While they do provide educational programmes and digital screening, what sets them apart is the counseling support team they have established under the initiative, Forward Journey Champion. This handholding provides women with support to battle the emotional toll that cancer brings. The reason for MyCliniCare’s high customer satisfaction rating lies in the care and compassion of its all-woman team of breast health screening specialists. Digital breast screening is done with an FDA certified prescreening device that is cost-effective, painless, non-invasive and radiation-free; this detects breast lumps and lesions. Unlike mammography, digital screening is absolutely safe to use on pregnant or lactating women as well as for a younger age group. Mammography, ultrasound and other clinical screenings are the follow-up steps if a lump or lesion is detected. The results of the digital screening method are delivered instantaneously, sparing the recipient of the agony of a long wait.
All the equipment and devices at MyCliniCare are mobile and cloud-connected, which provides the team with access to all results. All processes have secured confidentiality and data security. The screening device is handheld and is equipped with patented tactile micro-sensors that palpitate breast tissues to assess the tissue elasticity changes between healthy tissue and a stiff lump. The device can detect anomalies as small as 3mm. The team envisions a breast cancer-free community and to this end, they follow a ‘We come to you’ model of full deployment to connect with women, whether at work or at home. Along with corporate events, Kobza also encourages individuals to host screening events at a local level like residential complexes or homes. The inherent sense of privacy and greater flexibility will definitely ensure higher participation from women. This year, MyCliniCare has been able to reach over 30,000 women. Many women and health specialists are already endorsing the services provided by MyCliniCare. “Thank you for discovering the lump in my breast,” writes Ruhi. “Luckily it was a noncancerous fibroid, for which I am now undergoing treatment.”
“CANCER IS NOT BAD, NOT CATCHING CANCER (IN TIME) IS BAD. WITH PREVENTIVE SCREENS AND TESTS IN PLACE, IT IS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE TO AVOID NEEDLESS CANCER; 99% CASES ARE CURABLE WHEN DETECTED EARLY.”Carman Kobza Co-Founder, MyCliniCare
Dr. Thumsi says this service definitely aids clinical examination and is most beneficial for rural areas where the deployment of doctors may not be possible. Many organizations and even individuals sponsor rural screenings as part of their social responsibility. “When I got the opportunity from MyCliniCare to do something for the society, especially the underprivileged, I just had to do it. But the actual noble work is done by the screening specialists,” says Rajagopalan Kuttalam, who organized a screening for the rural community. Speaking about the future, Kobza is confident of robust growth with sustainable operations in India. MyCliniCare is exploring the possibility of such a venture in other countries as well.