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The Battle Against Cancer: Challenge Festival Health Startups Innovate Screening and Treatment

The healthcare startups competing in the 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals & Festival are addressing cancer care through innovative new products. From pre-diagnosis to treatment, these startups are working to make cancer screening and diagnosis a safe, minimally-invasive part of everyone’s personal routine.

Ananda Devices (Montreal, Canada): Ananda uses micro and nanotechnology to develop silicone-based microfluidic devices that respond to the needs of the biomedical research and diagnostics market by increasing standardization, precision and reproducibility of cell assays.

BCAL Diagnostics (Sydney, Australia): BCAL Diagnostics aims to shift the paradigm in breast cancer screening and diagnosis by introducing a blood test for detection of the disease. The implication of such a technology could revolutionize the way we detect and manage breast cancer by allowing a blood sample to be taken remote from the site of analysis.

MolDiag by MAScir (Rabat, Morocco): MolDiag by MAScir develops cost-effective molecular diagnostic kits for the detection and quantification of several predominant diseases in Morocco, such as cancer and viral infections.

Nano-X (Sydney, Australia): Nano-X is a new radiotherapy machine with disruptive market advantages. By moving the complexity of a radiotherapy system from hardware to software, Nano-X is less expensive to produce, less expensive to site, requires fewer staff to operate and can deliver a more complete therapy to patients.

Smart Detection Bra (SBD) (Saudi Arabia): The Smart Detection Bra is a wearable device and mobile application system. The system is a safe and comfortable way to track and record women’s breast health, with the intention of increasing early-detection rates for breast cancer.

All of these startups are using exciting new technologies to provide early detection capabilities with an emphasis on convenience. Here are three trends among the competitors this year:

Innovative Testing

Early detection saves lives. That is why BCAL Diagnostics and MolDiag by MAScair developed new testing methods for the early detection of treatable disease. The BCAL Test is blood-based universal screening, and MolDiag’s kit can diagnose the majority of common infectious diseases in Morocco. By offering alternatives to the traditional detection methods, such as mammograms and breast imaging, more women can reach diagnosis and receive necessary treatment. On a deeper level, new testing methods that are minimally invasive are keeping women healthy in cultures where stigmas regarding breast cancer screening and treatments exist.

Connecting Lifestyle and Care

The traditional cancer-testing model is uncomfortable, inconvenient and in some cases, inaccessible to the patients that need it most. Smart Detection Bra (SBD) attacks this problem head on. By providing a early detection system that is discreet and easy to operate, SBD empowers women to feel comfortable taking control of their health.

MolDiag by MAScair is aware that the cancer-testing process in Morocco can take weeks because it requires importing foreign testing kits and exporting them for analysis — thus preventing patients from receiving early diagnosis at a critical stage in their diseases. The MolDiag kit addresses this gap as doctors and patients can review and analyze domestically, reducing time and cost by half.

Improving Treatment Options

Over 350 million people do not have access to radiotherapy services. By improving cancer treatment options, startups can access new, necessary markets.

Ananda Device’s technology allows health providers and medical researchers to completely control the cell microenvironment, providing important insights into cell behavior. Its system works in any lab conditions, reducing material waste and increasing testing speed.

Nano-X is a cancer treatment system that captures 3D images in real-time and reliably sends the right amount of energy to the treatment location. Its technology is affordable, efficient and scalable in any environment — from large hospital settings to small towns.

The health startups in the 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals & Festival are making cancer screening and treatment more accessible, accurate and effective worldwide. Join us tonight at Long View Gallery to watch the health startups compete alongside money and security startups at the first night of semifinal pitches. At the after-party, mingle with our global community, and meet the startups themselves!