Well-versed in global health, Obieze “Obi” Nwanna-Nzewunwa, MD, MS, brought unique experience and a desire to continue helping underserved communities to MMC when he arrived as a first-year general surgery resident in 2018.

Obi is personally motivated to solve cervical cancer, which causes over 300,000 deaths annually. Ninety percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries that lack access to vaccines, screenings and treatment. In Obi’s native country of Nigeria, and in rural America, cervical cancer is highly prevalent. Obi recognized a need for a low-cost, accessible solution.

lediscan sketch

Obi is developing Lediscan, a point-of-care device that combines a visual inspection with machine learning, allowing a provider to “test and treat” cervical lesions in one gynecological exam. Lediscan is intended for use in primary care or clinic settings, eliminating days of waiting for screening test results and the need for costly, inaccessible follow-up specialist appointments.

While participating in the Innovation Cohort in 2019, Obi filed a patent for Lediscan’s unique design. MaineHealth Innovation connected Obi to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Innovation Corps to support Lediscan’s continued development. Obi presented Lediscan at the MaineHealth Innovation Blender, a brainstorming event with MaineHealth and The Roux Institute of Northeastern University, where he found a business mentor connection with the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs.

“The amount of support is positively overwhelming,” Obi says of his experience with MaineHealth Innovation. “I am used to being in one corner of my room trying to figure out all of these things by myself. Beyond having great ideas, one needs connections and people to support and point them in the right direction. This has been really helpful.”

Dr. Nwanna-Nzewunwa demonstrating the lediscan device

Obi Nwanna-Nzewunwa, MD, MS, (R) with the first prototype of Lediscan in the Maine Medical Center Innovation Cohort in 2019

NEXT STEPS

Obi is looking for team members with expertise in business development and marketing to help move Lediscan on a path to local implementation and global adoption.

TEAM

Obieze Nwanna-Nzewunwa, MD, MS
Surgery Resident
Maine Medical Center