Cancer Screening for All Through the Power of Tears.
This is the elegantly simple mission statement of Namida Lab, Inc., founded by CEO Omid Moghadam, a new member of the MakeUsWell Network.
Namida Lab's approach to biometric samples promises to revolutionize cancer screening by utilizing a non-invasive method—tears—to identify a wide range of pathologies earlier and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
The potential for human tears as a diagnostic tool is rooted in the vast array of proteins present in them. As per a 2017 edition of the Expert Review of Proteomics, a peer-reviewed technical journal, over 2,000 proteins have been identified in human tears.
Not only that, tears also possess an advantage over blood samples in terms of their proximity to pathological conditions and their much reduced dilution potential upon capture. In layman’s terms we could say that many larger cells and molecules found in blood are not present in tears. So the markers in tears are not masked by these larger entities as they are in blood. They are easier—and far less expensive—to identify.
Tears, as a diagnostic tool, moreover present a unique opportunity for self-care and self-testing. Millions of Americans already use the Schirmer tear flow test strips for their own well-being. At-home testing more generally has become a Covid-related trend, with insurance companies now routinely sending relatively inexpensive boxed tests to people’s homes on a routine basis. Namida Lab aims to harness this familiarity as it makes cancer screening with tears more accessible and less daunting.
It is important to note that the diagnostic potential of human tears is still in its early stages—there is really only one product currently on the market. But with many companies in this space looking to commercialize a variety of diagnostics, we will soon see the use of tears as a diagnostic medium become mainstream.
The deployment of PCR and at-home test kits for COVID were remarkable accomplishments, but they required a lot of government funding, were inherently limited for their intended purposes, and were not economical, in terms of universal application.
At a time when Covid-related fear and distrust of medical facilities is still prevalent, the combination of low-cost, ease of use, and self-administration offered by tear-based testing is crucial. It not only relieves anxiety but also reduces the stress of high out-of-pocket health plan deductible expenses for diagnostic imaging tests, as well as the burden on high-cost clinical testing facilities.
Namida Lab's mission to revolutionize cancer screening through the power of tears represents great potential in precision medicine and early detection, ultimately making healthcare more accessible for all.