According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, 1.7 women were diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide in 2012 alone. It is the most common type of cancer and the fifth biggest cause of death in women globally. Men, although much less likely to develop breast cancer, can also be affected by the illness. BreastIT is developing a practical solution to reduce these numbers.
A personal story
Moris Atwine, founder of BreastIT, saw breast cancer have an impact on his family in the most unexpected way: through a male relative. When I ask Moris how the idea for BreastIT first came about, he mentions the loss of his grandfather as the main reason: “If you look at the risk factors for getting breast cancer, family history is key, and the only way we can beat it is through early diagnosis. This was always in my mind because I’m at a huge risk of getting breast cancer. I was looking at how I could stop the spread of breast cancer within our family”.
With this personal drive propelling him forward, Moris, still a young computer scientist at university, partnered up with two equally proactive students to develop BreastIT, an alternative breast cancer diagnostic tool. The core team that got together in Uganda in 2014 remains the same: Atwine as the team leader and developer, Kabwama as the hardware engineer and Mwesigwa as the research and development lead.