VELscope system honored

July 7, 2010
Device is only dental product recognized by World Health Organization.

BURNABY, British Columbia—LED Dental has announced that the World Health Organization has recognized the VELscope enhanced oral assessment system as an innovative device that addresses global health concerns.

In 2009, the WHO Department of Essential Health Technologies challenged the scientific and business communities to identify and develop innovative technologies to address global health concerns. On June 30, following months of evaluation, the organization officially recognized those innovative medical devices--either existing or under development--that address global health concerns and which are likely to be accessible, appropriate and affordable for use in low- and middle-income countries.

The VELscope system was one of only eight commercialized devices so honored.

“It is extremely gratifying to receive this prestigious honor,” said Peter Whitehead, founder and CEO of LED Dental and inventor of the VELscope system.

“We created the VELscope system to improve the oral health of patients worldwide by helping dental practitioners discover everything from early-stage oral cancer to any number of more common oral abnormalities. This recognition from the World Health Organization is further reinforcement of what thousands of VELscope users have been telling us: that the VELscope system can help improve oral health in a very cost-effective and userfriendly manner.”

Oral cancer kills one American every hour of every day. According to the SEER data base, oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than several better publicized cancers, such as cervical cancer and testicular cancer. Some oral cancers are now known to be linked to exposure to the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus. This means that anyone who is sexually active is potentially at risk for the disease. Because of this, many health experts advise everyone 18-years-old and older to get an oral cancer exam on at least an annual basis.

Regular exams can help address the fact that oral cancer is typically discovered in late stages, when the five-year survival rate is approximately 30%. When discovered in early stages, however; the survival rate leaps to 80 to 90%, according to SEER data. Early detection can help reduce not only the mortality rate, but the degree of invasiveness and disfigurement resulting from treatment.

The VELscope handpiece shines a safe, blue light into the oral cavity and excites natural tissue fluorescence. When viewed by the clinician through the handpiece’s patented filters, abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.

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