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Startup leverages technology to bring oral care to masses | Pune News

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Pune: A startup by dental surgeon Dr Vidhi Bhanushali and her digital entrepreneur husband Rajat Kabade has been on a mission to detect cases of mucormycosis and other oral diseases across the country.
From mid-May till July-end, DentalDost has screened over 1,200 people for mucormycosis and over 7,000 people for overall health through its free dental helpline, WhatsApp chatbot and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered app.
“We have diagnosed 26 cases of mucormycosis from among the 1,200 people we had screened,” said Bhanushali.
“Of the 26 cases, around 19 were not very serious, but seven were so serious that I feel glad we could diagnose in time,” said the doctor, who works with a team of 110 dental experts across the country.
Her team has come across a maximum of such cases from Gujarat and Maharashtra though the number has decreased since mid-July.
“We have developed an AI technology which can scan photos of oral cavity uploaded on our app to find out whether they replicate mucormycosis cases. If required, we send the patient to the nearest oral surgeon partner who, if required, suggests oral fungal culture or a few scans. Once these are done, we get to know whether the patient is positive for mucormycosis. Accordingly, treatment is carried out,” she said.
“One can also approach us by calling our helpline or bymessaging on WhatsApp chatbot,” said Bhanushali, who has been leveraging technology to bring oral care to the masses.
The startup is now focusing its resources on detecting oral cancer. “We want to detect oral cancer via smartphone with the help of the technology we have developed and motivate patients to get intervention done at an early stage,” she said.

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