NCET explores business and technology
By Mikalee Byerman, special to the RGJ
Worldwide, a woman dies every minute from breast cancer, and studies suggest about 1.7 million new women are diagnosed every year with the disease. For women between 35 and 54, it is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
While these grim statistics may seem discouraging, one local technology company is determined to virtually eliminate the primary reasons for breast cancer death by making an innovative solution available to women worldwide.
“Seeing the enormous positive impact that our technology has on women’s lives is our motivation — our driving force,” said Elmar A. Davé, CEO of SonoCiné. “Our goal is to help improve the standard of care and help millions worldwide lead longer, healthier lives.”
The SonoCiné AWBUS (Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound) is a worldwide leading medical imaging technology for early breast cancer detection. The FDA-cleared SonoCiné connects to medical ultrasound machines and provides a consistent, repeatable scan of the whole breast. The technology includes robotics and highly advanced software to automate how radiologists and sonographers acquire and interpret data.
“SonoCiné not only provides a medically effective solution to the growing breast cancer epidemic, but is also a very economical solution for early breast cancer detection,” explained Davé. “In addition to relatively low implementation and operating costs for providers, SonoCiné AWBUS was developed to push the earliest detection threshold in order to prevent women from having to undergo invasive procedures or costly chemotherapy and radiation therapies.”
In the U.S. alone, about 45 percent of women have dense breast tissue. SonoCiné gives providers a “sound movie” (the literal translation of “SonoCiné”). This moving image — instead of a static picture typically provided by traditional technologies like Mammography, MRI or CT Scans — enables a physician to detect even small cancers.
Tumors as small as 5 mm (about the width of an eraser on a #2 pencil) visually “pop” against a bright background and highlight potential areas of concern.
The inventor of the AWBUS technology and founder of SonoCiné, Dr. Kevin M. Kelly, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist, medical director of the Breast Ultrasound Center in Pasadena, Calif., and one of the nation’s leading authorities on breast cancer detection.
He brought the company to Reno because of the region’s welcoming business climate. SonoCiné’s technology is designed, developed and assembled in its 7,500-square- foot south Reno location.
The company also has a strong educational component, training sonographers and technologists who perform exams, as well as radiologists interpreting scans.
Concurrently, SonoCiné is committed to educating the public about breast health and options for breast cancer detection.
“People who learn about this technology quickly grasp its importance,” Davé said, noting it is locally available at Renown and Reno Diagnostics Center. “They immediately think of women in their own lives.”
Get a behind-the- scenes tour of SonoCiné — and personally witness the lifesaving technology in action — at NCET’s Tech Wednesday, June 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit producing networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology.