Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Mobile-based oral cancer classification for point-of-care screening



Oral cancer is among the most common cancers globally, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Early detection is the most effective way to reduce the mortality rate. Deep learning-based cancer image classification models usually need to be hosted on a computing server. However, internet connection is unreliable for screening in low-resource settings.


To develop a mobile-based dual-mode image classification method and customized Android application for point-of-care oral cancer detection.


The dataset used in our study was captured among 5025 patients with our customized dual-modality mobile oral screening devices. We trained an efficient network MobileNet with focal loss and converted the model into TensorFlow Lite format. The finalized lite format model is ∼16.3  MB and ideal for smartphone platform operation. We have developed an Android smartphone application in an easy-to-use format that implements the mobile-based dual-modality image classification approach to distinguish oral potentially malignant and malignant images from normal/benign images.


We investigated the accuracy and running speed on a cost-effective smartphone computing platform. It takes ∼300  ms to process one image pair with the Moto G5 Android smartphone. We tested the proposed method on a standalone dataset and achieved 81% accuracy for distinguishing normal/benign lesions from clinically suspicious lesions, using a gold standard of clinical impression based on the review of images by oral specialists.


Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of a mobile-based approach for oral cancer screening in low-resource settings.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View