Skip to content

City scientists work on skin cancer phone app

Burnaby happens to have some of the greatest scientific minds working today, attempting to solve some of the world's leading problems. Recently, MetaOptima Technology Inc.

Burnaby happens to have some of the greatest scientific minds working today, attempting to solve some of the world's leading problems.

Recently, MetaOptima Technology Inc., founded by a team of Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia scientists, was recognized for its idea of a smartphone app to help monitor, record and assess potentially cancerous skin lesions.

The local health tech company made it as a top 25 finalist of the 2013 BCIC-New Ventures Competition, which is one of North America's largest technology business idea


"We were incredibly fortunate to be part of the New Venture B.C.

Competition and to have the chance to work closely with such a dedicated group of mentors and experts," said Dr. Maryam Sadeghi, MetaOptima's co-founder and CEO.

"Thanks to the organizers of this fantastic competition."

The smartphone app, "Molescope" relies on a low-cost, smart mini-microscope that provides 60X magnification plus automated visualization of health or non-healthy moles.

It helps users examine their skin and keep track of moles over time to catch any abnormalities. The app also provides access to expert consultations from dermatologists and helps the user book local appointments online.

"I learned that it's critical to have a strategic perspective, always," she said. "We networked with many awesome mentors with great industry insight, and we are so excited to learn more and more. Although we are working hard to be in (the) top three, at the end of the day there is nothing more valuable than the lessons we learn here to build a healthy venture and this is the most precious 'take home' for us."

For more information, visit www.metaoptima. com.

Phone scam

Telus is putting consumers on the alert about a phone scam hitting B.C. and Alberta.

The scam affects both wireless and landline customers who receive fraudulent calls that reprogram the caller ID signal to make it seem as though the call is from a legitimate source.

When the call is picked up, the "impostor" on the other end of the line claims to be Telus or another organization, and the person has won a prize but needs to provide their personal information to collect it.

"The calls are fraudulent, and in no way related to Telus or other companies the scam artists claim to be associated with," a media release states.

"Consumers should never enter their credit card information when prompted to by an unknown caller or automated call."

Customers are recommended to simply hang up the phone and not give out any personal information to a caller, unless they are certain they're speaking to a legitimate source.

"If (a consumer is) unsure when receiving a call from someone claiming to be from a company and asking for information, Telus recommends they either hang up or ask for a number to call them back at directly (to) ensure they are speaking with someone legitimate," the release states.

The Telus Fraud Management Centre assists customers and provides fraud awareness presentations. The centre can be contacted at 1-877567-2062.

For more information about phone fraud, visit or

Call for nominees

If you know someone in Burnaby in the export game who deserves attention, there's an award for that.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters B.C. division and the Ministry of International Trade are calling for applications for the 2013 B.C. Export Awards.

"British Columbian companies are exhibiting economic excellence by exporting Canadian goods and services across the globe, and in doing so, are continually supporting the excellent quality of life that our province has to offer its residents," said Craig Williams, vice-president of the B.C. division, in a media release. "The manufacturing sector, which employs almost 400,000 British Columbians, plays an integral role in spurring economic activity, and as such, we are pleased to be able to shine the spotlight on the leading organizations within this sector and their outstanding leadership."

Businesses from all sectors that have been exporting a product or service for two or more years are eligible to apply in various categories: sustainability, leadership, new exporter, professional services, Premier's Award for Job Creation and much more.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 12. The awards reception and luncheon will be held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver on Nov. 15.

For more information, visit www.bcexport