HOUSTON — Eighteen months ago, Forward Science set out to create an efficient and affordable oral screening device based on feedback from clinicians. The result is OralID, which uses fluorescent technology that helps practitioners save lives by identifying cancerous and precancerous lesions at their early stages. OralID’s low cost and lack of per-patient disposables make it the most affordable screening light among those currently available.
OralID emits visible light that enhances a dentist’s ability to identify tissue abnormalities. When OralID’s blue light shines on healthy oral tissue, it fluoresces. In contrast, abnormal tissue appears dark due to a lack of fluorescence. What sets OralID apart from other devices is not only it’s affordability, but also how portable and simple it is to use. Additionally, OralID is the only FDA cleared device that requires no consumable. Now every dentist can afford to “Shine Light. Save Lives” while performing routine oral exams.
“Our primary goal as a company is to help save lives," said Robert Whitman, cofounder of Forward Science and a biomedical engineer behind OralID’s streamlined design. "When we designed OralID, we went to the clinicians and asked what they wanted in a product. With that feedback, we designed a device around the user’s needs — portable, simple to use, no per-patient cost, and under $1,000. OralID can now be implemented into every dental office and everyone can be screened, thus saving more lives.”
There are other things that set OralID apart among the limited selection of oral screening devices in the market. Forward Science understands the importance of training for successful implementation of a new device into a practice, therefore each OralID office is provided with a personal live team training webinar. This free training can be repeated at any time.
“We want practitioners to feel confident about interpreting what they might see when they use OralID, and education is an important part of that," said company cofounder Brian M. Pikkula, who has a PhD in bio-optics. "It’s empowering to know that OralID highlights premalignant and malignant lesions that may not visible when doing a routine oral exam with the naked eye using white light.”
The mortality rate for oral cancer has not changed significantly in 30 years. Some 63% of oral cancers are found at Stage III and IV, which have a less than 50% survival rate. However, early discovery has an 80% to 90% survival rate. A two-minute oral exam with OralID could literally save a patient’s life, and it’s why Forward Science has made it the most affordable device available.
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Adjunct devices such as OralID should be standard practice at every dental clinic; every dental patient, regardless of age and lifestyle, needs an oral exam that screens for abnormal tissue. “Those infected with HPV [human papillomavirus] represent the fastest growing oral cancer population,” Whitman explained. Oral cancers from HPV have increased 225% in the past three decades.
The OralID Kit includes an OralID device, two pairs of filtered eyewear, batteries. and patient brochures. The company also offers a variety of patient literature and accessories for clinical documentation, including a SmartFilterID for imaging with your smartphone.