OncoVision

OncoVision is a seminar- and technology-based platform which globally educates underdeveloped areas on diagnosing/treating cancer early.

Photo of Viraj Mehta
0 4

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Education

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

February 28, 2003

Help us stay in touch!

Phone Number: (480) 263-0919 Mailing Address: 11929 East Gold Dust Avenue, Arizona: Scottsdale (85259)

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: https://oncovision.wixsite.com/website

Date You Started Your Project Started

March/28/2016

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

One of the major issues regarding cancer is that in many areas, especially those that are underdeveloped, people do not receive a diagnosis until the cancer has reached a life-threatening stage. The ability to decrease cancer-related deaths and increase early cancer diagnosis rates by educating less knowledgeable and underdeveloped areas on how to properly screen for cancer can drastically increase survival rate by up to 40% globally.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

OncoVision’s goal is to increase the amount of cancers that are diagnosed early, thus increasing their susceptibility to treatment and augmenting patient survival rates. It operates via two major methods: technology and educational seminars. OncoVision is centered around an app that asks users questions regarding whether they have been experiencing symptoms corresponding to various cancers, as well as questions about their lifestyle and demographics. Using a machine learning algorithm that I developed based on publicly available retrospective data and the Naive-Bayes Theorem, the app uses this information to calculate a person’s percentage risk for different cancers and provide advice for future steps (link to demonstration video: https://vimeo.com/333042611). Additionally, I have traveled to underserved areas in Malaysia, Poland, and India, where I met with local leaders to organize seminars and presentations to raise awareness on the importance of early cancer diagnosis and to educate people on methods of screening oneself for cancers. I have also recruited members in these regions who carry out OncoVision’s mission and with whom I coordinate further events.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

When I was 12 years old, I received the shocking news that my grandfather, with whom I was always close, had been diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. He passed away shortly thereafter, leaving me heartbroken and upset. Unfortunately, doctors had not recognized his arm rashes, swelling, and other symptoms as those of lymphoma, so they were unable to diagnose it early. Distressed, I began to research cancer and discovered that many symptoms relating to cancers are surprising and not immediately recognizable as cancer, thus causing millions to die worldwide from late diagnosis. Even though I was young, I knew I couldn’t allow others around the globe to continue to suffer as my grandfather and my family had. Thus, I decided to put my passion for computer science and app development to use, and the idea for OncoVision was born.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Through our educational presentations, people come to understand the significance of regular self-checks for lumps and the process of recognizing potential cancer symptoms as such. If they realize they have symptoms relating to cancers, they use our app, which asks them questions about symptoms for 8 different cancers, demographics, and lifestyle. The app will give them a percentage risk for cancer and suggestions for next steps. An example of this is a man of about 63 years of age who attended a seminar in New Delhi. He discovered he had shortness of breath and was coughing up blood. After using our app and having a high risk for lung cancer, he went to a doctor and received an official diagnosis confirming that he did indeed. We were joyed to receive an email saying he was able to be diagnosed in stage 2 and had undergone successful treatment.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Unlike organizations like the National Cancer Institute or Doctors Without Borders, our main focus is the education of people in underdeveloped areas. OncoVision aims to place the power in the hands of the user by giving them the tools to screen themselves, and make an informed decision on whether they are at high risk for cancer. Also, OncoVision allows users to receive medical aid from the comfort of their home via smartphone, as underserved areas have restricted access to medical care. Thus, OncoVision is unique in its focus on granting self-reliance to patients with ease-of-use in mind.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

To date, we have hosted over 23 educational seminars and have educated over 1,000 people on the significance of self-screening and the identification of cancer symptoms. Additionally, we are working in 3 countries, India, Poland and Malaysia. We are working towards a goal of educating 2,000 people by next summer. In addition to the man from New Delhi, we are ecstatic to have received emails from others who have noted alarming symptoms and used our application to screen themselves for cancer, discovering they were at high risk. Also, as we have improved our app’s algorithm, we have tested it using retrospective data from past cancer patients, ultimately reaching a 97.3% accuracy rate in diagnosis, which demonstrates a very low false negative rate.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We hope to reach a goal of having educated over 2,000 people by the end of next summer by continuing to expand. Our seminars could provide benefit to millions of people who are affected by cancer globally each year, but scaling is an important issue we are working on addressing. In addition, we have plans to implement geolocation technology in our app in order to connect people with the nearest local doctor or healthcare center. Through the Global Teen Leader program, I was able to partner with the Prevent Cancer Foundation to work on improving our application’s algorithms, as well as come up with new ideas for educating people. We hope to continue to increase early cancer diagnosis rates by finding new ways to reach more people.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Brand Development

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 25%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 75%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 75%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 25%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 25%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 25%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 75%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

0 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment