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Optical Scanner Advances Cervical Cancer Screening

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 02 Jun 2016
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Image: The vaginal probe device, designed for cervical cancer screening (Photo courtesy of Biop Medical).
Image: The vaginal probe device, designed for cervical cancer screening (Photo courtesy of Biop Medical).
A new technology optimizes the cervical cancer (CC) screening process into a single, three-minute painless optical scan.

The Biop device is a probe inserted into the vaginal canal that optically identifies and classifies epithelium based cancers and pre-cancerous lesions. Once inserted, the probe scans the entire cervix; images and optical signatures are captured by integrated sensors and analyzed by a proprietary algorithm. The result is two images placed side-by-side on the physician's screen; a high-resolution photograph of the patient's cervix, and a thermal map indicating a precise classification and location of any diseased lesions.

A panoramic photograph of the cervix from outside of the vaginal canal can also be taken, similar to that of a traditional colposcope. This can provide the practitioner with complete information of any other vaginal lesions, including any not on the cervix itself. The data is automatically uploaded to the electronic health record (EHR), and is also stored in a cloud-based proprietary database for follow up. Follow up exams are automatically compared to earlier exams, with any changes automatically noted.

Biop can also be used in an ambulatory setting, allowing for mobile cervical screening, similar to mobile blood units and mobile breast cancer screening programs, This can be useful in areas where socialized medicine has created a long wait between an abnormal Pap and an appointment for a colposcopy, providing a better prognosis for women who have CC. The Biop device is under development by Biop Medical (Ramat Gan, Israel).

“The Biop device is perfect for any setting, especially for doctors and nurses in rural areas who don’t have — and can’t afford — the fancy equipment usually needed to test for cervical cancer,” said Ilan Landesman, founder and CEO of Biop Medical. “It’s a big-data solution that can replace traditional methods of examining for cervical cancer.”

In current clinical practice, the diagnosis of CC is mainly through the cervical screening followed by a necessary biopsy, but this method is labor consuming and expensive, and can only detect superficial lesions around the external cervical orifice. In contrast, PAI is sensitive to the abnormal angiogenesis deep in the biological tissue, and may be capable for the intact scanning both around the external orifice and in cervical canal.

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