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“One in eight women across her lifetime will develop breast cancer,” says Jeremie Bourqui, Founder and CEO of Wave View Imaging. Through personally experiencing friends and family dying because of late diagnosis, he set out to make earlier breast cancer detection more accessible.
Through their startup, Wave View Imaging, they’re developing a technology that provides pain-free and timely breast imaging using non-intrusive, microwave technology. The goal being earlier detections, and subsequently better outcomes for many.
Typically in Alberta, mammography is only available to women above the age of 45 and Canada's screening guidelines don’t recommend mammography screening until the age of 50.
“While those guidelines are based on a risk-based approach, about 11% of breast cancers are found under age 45. This is not insignificant,” he says.
“Those cancers are often more aggressive, making early detection so important.”
Because of this, cancer may be detected too late. Even for women who are eligible for mammograms, the experience is uncomfortable and often painful.
“In Canada we actually see about 37% of eligible women who do not go for their regular screening mammograms.”
More so, mammograms use X-rays, which can further dissuade women from getting screened.
With all those factors considered, the need for an easy, more accessible option seems obvious.
Better patient outcomes
Wave View Imaging’s technology uses non-ionizing microwaves.
“When I say microwaves I'm talking about the same frequencies that your cell phone emits, but we use 100 times less power, so it is completely safe.”
They believe that introducing this non-ionizing platform for timely and pain-free breast imaging will be critical in catching cancers earlier.
They don’t intend to replace X-ray mammography, but rather offer a screening option for folks who don’t want a mammography for whatever reason – and for those who don’t have access.
The idea is that by being able to scan at any age, and as often as needed, “we can catch some of these really aggressive cancers in earlier stages, resulting in better patient outcomes and prognosis.”
Finding a community of support
“I feel like among all the programs that we participate in and have participated in, the connections are key. The main reason those programs [Alberta Catalyzer and Platform Incubator] have been really valuable is having a building where we can all collide with each other,” he says.
“Having an environment for Calgary founders to come together really fosters a sense of community among local startups which has been a huge positive. Being able to lean on your fellow founders for support is invaluable.”
Platform Incubator Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR), Dr. Christy Lane, has been working closely with Wave View Imaging throughout the Incubator. The Incubator EiRs ask questions, make connections, and hold founders accountable to progress. They are focused on helping the startup leaders achieve their highest potential. Get to know Christy:
Christy is an investor, founder, professor and exercise scientist with expertise in data analytics, wearable devices, insurance, pharma and rehabilitation medicine. She advises a number of businesses in the areas of insuretech, wearables, digital health, clinical trials/FDA, lifestyle and wellness. Her key areas of expertise are in developing digital Biomarkers, business development, and strategy.
September 15, 2023