Oral cancer represents over 30% of cancers reported in low middle-income countries (LMIC), like India and is the leading cause of cancer death among Indian men. Surgery, radiation and chemo therapies are the mainstay of management but are either too expensive, unavailable for people or have extensive side effects. An alternate effective therapy for oral cancer is photodynamic therapy (PDT), a light based spatially targeted cytotoxic therapy that has shown excellent healing of the oral mucosa post treatment. We here combined engineering, optics and biochemistry to produce a low-cost, mobile LED-based light source with 3D printed light applicators for smart phone-based, image-guided PDT. After validating the devices in preclinical models, we performed an ergonomics study on 10 healthy volunteers at the MGH, where the comfort level of the applicators (anterior buccal cheek, posterior buccal cheek and retromolar positions) and presence of fatigue or numbness in the mouth due to the applicators was evaluated. We found that the retromolar and posterior applicators were the most comfortable and well tolerated. After these initial steps, the device was tested in clinical studies of early oral cancer in India. We observe in subjects with T1N0M0 oral lesions that our applicator and light system combination delivered light to cover the entire lesion area and yielded effective PDT response. Of the 18 treatments so far, 14 subjects have responded, with no residual/recurrent disease in follow-up biopsy. The significance of this work is that it offers an alternative treatment modality for early disease without associated morbidities.