New IAOO chief to focus on research and innovation

Dr. Moni Kuriakose Abraham

Dr. Moni Kuriakose Abraham  


Dr. Moni Kuriakose Abraham is the first from outside the US and Europe to make it to the top post

Using technology to bridge the gap between experts and the community is the focus area of research for Dr. Moni Abraham Kuriakose, Director of the Cochin Cancer Research Centre, who has taken over as the new president of the International Academy of Oral Oncology (IAOO).

This is for the first time that the global association has a president from outside the United States and Europe. In his tenure of two years, his aim is to disseminate knowledge and do focused research.

The idea is to down-stage cancer by using mobile phone technology, said Dr. Kuriakose. The main issue for oral cancers continues to be early detection, and it is a global problem, whether it is in India or the US, he added. According to him, technology will provide a point of care in the community.

Oral cancers can usually be diagnosed and treated too, but experts usually get to see a patient only when the illness is at an advanced stage, he said, adding that people ignore the lesions because most of them have no pain in the early stages.

According to him, early detection can cure 85% of oral cancers, while the cure rate is less that 40% at stage 4 of the disease.

Mobile microscopy is yet another technological innovation for getting cytology images from the local centre, eliminating the logistical challenges of transporting the slides, said Dr. Kuriakose. The cameras are so advanced now that they can zoom into a single cell to trap images, he added.

The next step will be the use of Artificial Intelligence in interpreting images, said Dr. Kuriakose. Image analysis using machine learning, as the research could be termed, is to create an expertise within AI to detect cancers after getting exposed to thousands of images. AI will perhaps be as equal or better than humans to detect cancers, he observed.

As part of disseminating knowledge, IAOO will offer a global online diploma course. While each country has its own teaching programme, quality differs, he said. The online course with webinars and other technology is to bring in standardisation in training. This will greatly enhance capacity building of surgeons in their own community.

The online course will be aided by what is called ‘touch surgery’. The usual process of training is to look and learn under the tutelage of an expert. Now, modules will be prepared to simulate various procedures in a surgery like pilots learning to fly by simulation. Besides, there will be an online international mentorship programme – a training for two years under an expert.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:41:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/new-iaoo-chief-to-focus-on-research-and-innovation/article29622087.ece

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