From architecture and art to breast cancer surgery and thermal screenings: Meet Dr Nerses Berberian, Thermaiscan’s medical lead, breast cancer specialist and thermal breast screening expert.
Thermaiscan is a HealthTech business. But it is the people behind the tech that has brought us to where we are. Follow along while we introduce our dedicated team with a joint mission to build a healthier world.
Today we are directing our digital spotlight towards Dr Nerses Berberian.
Dr Nerses is in charge of a Breast Unit network, operating in 3 different medical facilities in Yerevan, Armenia. The Breast Unit in Erebouni Hospital is where Thermaiscan is conducting clinical validation and the hospital itself is the biggest medical facility in Armenia. The clinical validation period is reaching the 4th month out of 6th in Erebouni Hospital. Yerevan State Medical University is also involved in the studies that will result in Thermaiscan’s first medical paper.
Dr Nerses is a highly skilled medical professional who specializes in thermal breast screening using tiny FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal sensors in smartphones. As part of Thermaiscan’s breast cancer research, Dr Nerses performs thermal screenings on patients before conducting mammogram & potential biopsy. The purpose is to understand the type of breast cancer and in what stage the cancer can be detected without AI with the specific thermal sensor we use compared to mammography. The thermal screenings and biopsy results provide valuable data and the goal is to both discover patients with no symptoms and to provide more medical data for patients with symptoms.
Based on the thermal medical research, Dr Nerses has helped Thermaiscan to develop Breast Cancer Pre-Screening solution and train our own made AI-algorithms. The work is done closely with AI engineers in Armenia, powered by Thermaiscan Advisor Dr. Axel Gräwingholt and with our thermal expert and product development team in Sweden.
The AI is analyzing smartphone based thermal images of the chest area of patients. The AI then gives risk-predictions – healthy or risk.
Thermaiscan mission is to solve the problem of late detection of breast cancer development. The goal is to support B2B health units – such as mini-clinics, primary care and rural healthcare non-specialists – with the ability to perform breast cancer pre-screening. Our AI can to detect breast abnormalities in its early stages and those patients with risk predictions are referred to specialist for further screening & treatment. Finding breast cancer early is strongly correlated with better survival chances. Thermaiscan’s approach with a portable, affordable and non-toxic breast cancer pre-screening solution have gained traction and been rewarded in both India and Singapore.
Pre-screening functions as a complementary tool to current breast screening methods and is not intended to compete nor replace mammography.
As you now realise, Dr Nerses expertise (together with the team) is key in developing Thermaiscan’s screening solution. But life could have been very different for Dr Nerses!
Unable to attend a medical university in his birthplace Syria, Dr Nerses started his academic career within engineering and architecture. He has always loved art, sketching and creating. But the medical profession was calling to him. He moved to Armenia in the year 2000 to pursue his dream.
Why breast cancer?
Dr Nerses initially worked in general surgery. This was where he developed a love for the aesthetic aspect of surgery. As he progressed in his profession, he became interested in breast surgery, oncology surgery and reconstructive surgery. Talking about these topics, Dr Nerses’ passion shines through the screen. In many ways, performing these surgeries are an artform, each and everyone with their individual challenge and outcome.
To help the patient achieve a positive outcome is always the goal. And it’s not hard to imagine that a ‘positive outcome’ is different for every individual. Preparing for breast surgery involves intense dialogue to understand the patient’s needs. Some patients want a full mastectomy, some reconstruction.
But, as we know, in this line of work, some aspects are tougher. Dr Nerses is often the first person to deliver the news of a breast cancer diagnosis to a patient. He then manages everything from diagnosis and scanning to biopsies and surgery. When it’s time for surgery, the goal is often to preserve the breast, but sometimes it’s not possible due to the tumor’s size or location. And the worst part, of course, is if the cancer is found too late, or spreads despite treatments.
What is the best part of your work?
- The biggest reward is seeing a smile on a woman’s face when she wakes up after a successful breast surgery. It’s not just about surgery; it’s about helping women prepare for the rest of their lives
Why are you working with Thermaiscan?
Dr Nerses declares that breast cancer is very responsive to treatment if detected early. This is why he encourages women to get regular checkups, as early detection increases the chances of surviving a diagnosis. Working with Thermaiscan means building a product that gives more women the chance to find cancer early and live a long, full and healthy life.