Alumnus Michael Moore is about to disrupt the world of biopsies. As the CEO and co-founder of Med Kairos, Moore and his colleagues have created an algorithm-based camera that identifies and counts cancerous cells from biopsy samples—a process that was previously done manually.
The camera is expected to save hospitals and their patients both countless hours and millions of dollars.
“We were cued into the need for this technology from personal experience,” Moore said. “My dad had tonsil cancer back in 2009, and they had to take three biopsies. Each time, the sample came back as inadequate, so my dad had to return to the hospital to have another biopsy done.”
After the third biopsy, Moore’s father was told by his doctors to undergo surgery rather than continue to take insufficient biopsies. According to Moore, his father is just one of hundreds of thousands of patients with similar stories.
For fine-needle aspiration biopsies, like the ones undergone by Moore’s father, doctors stick a needle into the tumor and withdraw a small sample of tissue, which is manually examined on a glass slide under a microscope. At larger hospitals, the examination is done in-house, but smaller hospitals send the samples to external pathologists for examination, which can take days or even weeks to process.
In both cases, a pathologist must manually count the cancerous cells in the biopsy in order to determine if there is an adequate sample for diagnosis. With Moore’s new camera, this will be done in seconds, allowing a secondary or tertiary biopsy to be done without ever sending the patient home.
Moore’s product is currently undergoing a clinical validation study at the University of Michigan, Mt. Sinai hospital, and Henry Ford Hospital in order to receive FDA approval.
Once the camera is cleared for use, Moore says he plans to bring the manufacturing of the device home to Alabama to stimulate the economy where he grew up.
“I’m not an alumnus that just that ran off,” Moore said. “I want to come home with this. My ultimate mission is to bring the manufacturing back to where my family is in Alabama.”