The Israeli company Biop Medical is designing and testing a better alternative to the Pap smear in a state-of-the-art colposcope device that checks for cancer and analyses the images instantly to indicate whether or not a biopsy is necessary.

This takes away the anxiety of multiple appointments and waiting for results during which time cancer could spread.

“Our device extracts optical features from the cervix and sends them to the cloud in real time to analyze them, all at the point of care,” says Biop Medical founder and CEO Ilan Landesman. “Biop tries to find the disease at very early stages and this has a real value because it can give enough time to treat it successfully.”

The product is undergoing clinical trials in Israel and Hungary into next year. The company expects to apply for CE (Europe) and FDA (US) approval in 2017.

Founded in 2013, Biop Medical was in the first cohort of IBM’s AlphaZone accelerator program in Israel, and was presented at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit at the end of 2014.

“We have tremendous help and cooperation with IBM,” Landesman tells ISRAEL21c. “Using IBM Cloud and Analytics tools, we were able to develop a big-data point-of-care solution that sends information as it scans.”

The Biop device was designed by a multidisciplinary team from the areas of physics, optics, biology and software. Headquartered in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, the company recently raised $2.25 million in a Series A investment round led by Shanghai Creative Investments of China remote areas and requires only a short training to be used by any healthcare provider, says Bar Tur.

Biop Medical’s product is not in competition with the award-winning EVA optical assessment system for cervical cancer screenings developed by Israeli company MobileODT specifically for developing countries, using a smartphone camera to capture and securely transmit the images for diagnosis and analysis. Rather, Biop is positioned as a high-end manufacturer of colposcopes, says Landesman. Its optical technology could be adapted for identifying other types of epithelial cancer, such as oral, esophageal, rectal and bladder.

Meanwhile, another Israeli invention for early cervical-cancer detection is being developed at Illumigyn, a company headed by Ran Poliakine of Powermat fame. Illumigyn’s Gynescope colposcope will use proprietary imaging technology to deliver 15-micron image resolution over a wide field of view, along with advanced illumination features and the ability to capture, send and store high-definition images and videos taken during the exam.

In Australia, approximately 800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.