Jamnabai Narsee at International Science & Engineering Fair

Jamnabai Narsee students win laurels at International Science & Engineering Fair

June 15, 2021
-Dipta Joshi

Class XI students of the Mumbai-based Jamnabai Narsee International School, Sidharth Jain and Aasimm Khan have won the Grand Award at the US-based International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) besting 1800 global participants including 20 students from India. The 17-year old students showcased their mobile-based app that helps in early-detection of genital Cancer. The innovation earned them the Grand Award 4th place in the annually-held global innovations fair’s ‘World ISEF Regeneron 2021 Bio Medical Category’.

“Cancer is curable if detected in its early stages. When focusing on genital skin cancer matters become worse since factors like privacy, comforts, social hurdles and restrictions play a key role in postponing cancer detection in the genital regions. Biopsy is an invasive method that accurately screens cancer, but when conducted in genital region, it causes pain, infection, numbness etc. Hence, our engineering goal is to screen suspicious skin lesions non-invasively. By providing detailed analysis to doctors in the virtual mode, the app reduces the number of times a patient experiences invasion of his privacy. It also gives the patient control of the screening process,” says Sidharth Jain.

Working for eight months before they could come up with their non-invasive screening and classifications process, Sidharth Jain and Aasimm Khan have applied to patent their ‘Remote Identification and Detection of Genital Skin Cancer’ – ‘RIDGE’ product.

“Having watched the issues faced by patients in getting access to doctors during the lockdown, we were interested in finding remote care solutions. We spoke to dermatologists, connected with skin cancer specialist in US and London to gain insights on the issues and problems and were helped by our tutors at OMOTEC too. We developed a machine learning model that could be executed and deployed as a mobile app. Once the image of the lesion is processed and fed into our pre-trained app, it yields a percentage probability report of the lesion being classified as malignant, benign or pre-malignant. If malignant, further classifications occur identifying five main skin cancers,” explains Aasimm Khan.

Prior to being selected to represent India at the Phoenix, Arizona based ISEF, the duo had to qualify from among several thousand students who competed at the country-wide, ‘Initiative for Research and Innovation in STEM (IRIS) National Fair’ held on 23-24 Jan, 2021. Sidharth Jain and Aasimm Khan’s non-invasive screening and classification of skin cancer lesions in genital regions won them the Grand Award at the IRIS National Fair too. Both events were held virtually in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Sidharth Jain and Aasimm Khan were mentored by an excellent team of tutors of OMOTEC (On My Own Technology), which teaches STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, art and maths) and courses on robotics. Students from OMOTEC  have been participating in IRIS since 2016 with 18 entries qualifying over the years.

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