Mobile-based oral cancer classification for point-of-care screening

Bofan Song, Sumsum Sunny, Shaobai Li, Keerthi Gurushanth, Pramila Mendonca, Nirza Mukhia, Sanjana Patrick, Shubha Gurudath, Subhashini Raghavan, Tsusennaro Imchen, Shirley T. Leivon, Trupti Kolur, Vivek Shetty, Vidya Bushan, Rohan Ramesh, Natzem Lima, Vijay Pillai, Petra Wilder-Smith, Alben Sigamani, Amritha SureshMoni A. Kuriakose, Praveen Birur, Rongguang Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Significance: Oral cancer is among the most common cancers globally, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Early detection is the most effective way to reduce the mortality rate. Deep learning-based cancer image classification models usually need to be hosted on a computing server. However, internet connection is unreliable for screening in low-resource settings. Aim: To develop a mobile-based dual-mode image classification method and customized Android application for point-of-care oral cancer detection. Approach: The dataset used in our study was captured among 5025 patients with our customized dual-modality mobile oral screening devices. We trained an efficient network MobileNet with focal loss and converted the model into TensorFlow Lite format. The finalized lite format model is 1/416.3 MB and ideal for smartphone platform operation. We have developed an Android smartphone application in an easy-to-use format that implements the mobile-based dual-modality image classification approach to distinguish oral potentially malignant and malignant images from normal/benign images. Results: We investigated the accuracy and running speed on a cost-effective smartphone computing platform. It takes 1/4300 ms to process one image pair with the Moto G5 Android smartphone. We tested the proposed method on a standalone dataset and achieved 81% accuracy for distinguishing normal/benign lesions from clinically suspicious lesions, using a gold standard of clinical impression based on the review of images by oral specialists. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of a mobile-based approach for oral cancer screening in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065003
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • dual-modality
  • efficient deep learning
  • mobile screening device
  • oral cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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