Editorial Team

This is the third time that OMOTEC has won at ISEF (Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair). High School Scientists from Around the World win nearly $8M in Awards, Scholarships at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. Founded on the belief that advances in science are key to solving global challenges, Regeneron ISEF supports and invests in the next generation of leading STEM thinkers who are generating ideas and acting as catalysts for the change needed to improve the well-being of all people and the planet.

OMOTEC students Aditya Mehta & Manav Kothari, both from Dhirubai Ambani International School, have won the Grand Award at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a mega international competition held recently in Atlanta (USA), for showcasing their non-invasive screening and classification of oral mouth cancer.

“OMOTEC is really proud of our students for winning this prestigious award at the global platform. Their project MOUTHSCOPE works on the concept of autofluorescence where the phone camera scans the entire oral cavity, detects both potentially malignant lesions and cancerous tissue for potentially cancerous lesions without professional intervention. We want young India to innovate by learning new age technologies and make India the hub of new products,” OMOTEC Co-founder Shekhar Jain said.”

The project, presented by Aditya Mehta & Manav Kothari Mouthscope, uses AI to make oral cancer screening more accessible by automating it. We have designed a device that scans the entire oral cavity for potentially cancerous lesions without professional intervention. Mouthscope works on the principle of autofluorescence: It emits low-wavelength light which excites fluorophores in normal mucosa and not cancerous tissues, causing cancerous tissues to have a darker color. The phone camera captures this and sends it to the machine learning model which predicts with 86% accuracy to detect both potentially malignant lesions (erythroplakia and leukoplakia) and cancerous tissue in the form of squamous cell carcinoma.
The device contains a long-pass filter, UV LEDs, a microcontroller, a cheek-retractor and a phone holder. Mouthscope uses 2 machine learning models: resnet_v2, a Deep RNN and YOLOv5. The device allows for both real-time self-diagnosis and cloud-based mass screening.
To generate a dataset for our machine learning model, we tested it with 24 patients (including 4 cancerous). We found that there was a clear visual distinction between the potentially malignant tissue and normal tissue, with malignant tissue having darker color. Moreover, our AI Models were able to detect this distinction.
By using a smartphone and classifying images through machine learning, Mouthscope eliminates the need for extensive infrastructure for mass screening of oral cancer, making it more attainable.

Every year IRIS National fair, a public-private partnership initiative funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is organized to promote and nurture Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research among young Indian innovators. This platform recognizes and rewards outstanding projects and provides young innovators a platform to get recognized at the national and international STEM events.

This year out of the 12 National Participants, 3 OMOTEC projects won special and grand awards:

  1. IRIS Finalist Award – Aditya Mehta & Manav Kothari – Screening ORAL Cancer
  2. National Geographic Empathy Award – Arnav Kejriwal & Hridank Garodia – Measuring Gait for four legged Animals
  3. Science STEM Champion Award – Stuti Bhatia & Alekha Malhotra – Mapping indoor space for Alzheimer patients

The IRIS National fair is conducted every year in India for school students, who participate in 21 subject categories and till 2020, nearly 265 Indian students have already participated in ISEF and have won around 160 awards and accolades at this mega international event.

“Commitment to research and perseverance throughout the journey is the key to success by the student and the mentors. Our continuous effort in research-based project is to watch the impact these make in their communities and chosen fields of specialisation. IRIS and ISEF are global platforms for the best and the brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. OMOTEC believes that advances in science are key to solving global challenges, and therefore supports and invests in the next generation of STEM thinkers to come with ideas and solutions to bring the change needed to improve the lives of people and planet” OMOTEC Co-founder Reetu Jain said.

Founded by Shekhar and Reetu Jain in 2016, OMOTEC offers a wide range of stimulating, educational, STREAM & robotics programs integrating mechanical/ electronics/ programming / design and construction/ research and innovation including product design and development for young minds ranging from pre-primary to 12th grade (K-12) and to the students from graduate schools and engineering colleges.

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