Newton Fund - The Development of a Portable THERMOgraphy-based Health DeTECTion Application (THERMOTECT) in breast cancer screening in India


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012 (second most common cancer overall). This represents about 12% of all new cancer cases and 25% of all cancers in women. According to the World Health Organisation, although breast cancer is thought to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries. This includes India, where for every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in India, one of them will die.

This innovative project will develop a novel, portable thermography–based health detection application for use as a highly efficient, less invasive, more convenient and safer breast cancer screening tool, specifically for use in rural parts of India as well as other developing countries. Hence the project makes a direct contribution to early detection of breast cancer and, therefore, towards the improvement of the welfare of India’s female population.

The new screening system will be based on a portable mobile device application that is connected to a cloud server that will host an artificial intelligent (AI) model classifier. The client platform consists of a windows-based device and a thermographic camera, which is securely linked via a wireless connection to the cloud.

ThermoTECT aims to bring portable breast cancer screening to people in rural and remote areas. The proposal for India is for healthcare personnel to take the mobile device to rural areas and perform screening. Not only does this bring health care closer to the grassroots, it eliminates the need for people to make repeated long journeys to urban cities for routine screening. This allows for health development while reducing the carbon footprint of such repeated journeys.

This project makes a direct contribution to early detection of breast cancer in India and therefore the improvement of the welfare of India’s female population. With a quick breast cancer detection method, people will be less deterred to attend a consultation. In Indian culture, it is not uncommon for women to be cornerstones of families and primary care providers for children. A higher death rate for women has a direct relationship with children (future economic leaders) not reaching full potential, ending up in welfare and poverty, higher crime rate and divided families. Therefore, a reduction in death rate from breast cancer for Indian women would lead to a reduction in poverty for India.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

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Innovative Technology and Science Limited, CAMBRIDGE


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