According to World Health Organization, cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women, affected approximately 570,000 women and resulted in about 311,000 deaths in 2018.
A startup called illumigyn built a gynecological imaging platform to provide women across the world with accessible and affordable medical care, including preventative screenings, evaluations, diagnoses and treatment for cervical cancer and other diseases.
The Israel-based startup announced the closing of its $33 million funding from investors, including Yozma Group Korea and Ubicom Holdings Japan. The company did not provide the other investors’ detail.
The company will use the latest funding to support illumigyn’s research and development, which focuses on turning illumigyn into a comprehensive solution for examining the lower genital tract. Illumigyn also expands into the United States, United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore and South Korea starting this month.
“The funding will be deployed to ramp up production and will enable illumigyn to execute distribution agreements and sign additional new global partnerships,” said CEO and chairman of illumigyn, Avi Ludomirski.
The startup developed a remote gynecological platform, the Gynescope System. The FDA-cleared gynecological platform digitally documents the cervix, vagina and external genitalia.
The illumigyn Gynescope can be handled by a trained caregiver such as obstetrician-gynecologist, general practitioner, nurse practitioner and physician assistant so that women of all individual sensitivities can be assessed in a safe space. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant (HIPAA) solution automatically uploads and securely stores images to the cloud. It enables a doctor or specialist to view the images remotely and provides women access to their scans and doctors’ recommendations.
The company said its high-quality resolution and magnification enhance details to enable more accurate smear tests than the traditional cervix exams.
“Illumigyn is made available to medical professionals to serve women across the world better who do not have access to affordable, documented, and quality gynecological care,” said Ran Poliakine, founder of illumigyn, told TechCrunch.
Women can be examined in the comfort of their home by a midwife or a trusted general practitioner at a clinic as long as a specialist can review the exam and make the diagnosis, Poliakine said.
Illumigyn’s global target market is the worldwide population of women above the age of 15, Poliakine added.
“Whether for religious, cultural or historical reasons, women find cervical exams to be invasive and anxiety-inducing. Many women do not have access to obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYN) due to their living in rural areas or the OB/GYN shortage,” said Poliakine. In the United States, there is a ratio of one OB/GYN for nearly every 3,000 women over 15, Poliakine noted.
“We are proud to introduce to the world a cutting-edge innovation that will ensure that women all over the world will feel safe during gynecological exams and will have access to all of their medical information,” Ludomirski said.