“A friend who got misdiagnosed (…) is the inspiration behind Biop Medical”
Startup of the Month: In November 2016, Israeli startup Biop Medical successfully convinced the jury of the digital healthcare MEDICA App COMPETITION of the potential of its technology. I talked with Dalit Milo and Ilan Landesman, the two founders of the team that became runners-up at #5MAC16.
Dalit, can you describe in a few sentences what Biop Medical is about?
Dalit: Our team at Bio Medical has developed an innovative technology for identifying cancerous cells in epithelial tissue. We combine hardware and software: our real-time screening tool offers standard colposcope capabilities with state-of-the-art, enhanced features. It combines advanced, high-resolution optics with integrated micro and macro cameras and other optical elements to produce highly sensitive optical signatures for automatic identification of suspicious areas and quantification of the pre-cancer and cancer stages. Then our software comes in: the collected data is combined and analyzed using our proprietary algorithm. We are convinced that our transducer will supplement — or replace — current colposcopy technologies for cervical cancer screening.
When did you start?
Ilan: We started to think about optical signatures of cancer tissues a few years back. In 2012, we finally started to test its proof of concept. And we came a long way: In 2016, we finished safety trials, we educated our machine learning algorithm using 80 patients, and we designed our first commercial product.
“Next year, we will submit our device for FDA & CE clearance.”
How did you come up with the idea?
Dalit: We had a close friend who got misdiagnosed for cervical cancer. She passed away a couple of years ago. She is the inspiration behind Biop Medical.
MedTech is a very special field. What advice can you give other startups in MedTech?
Ilan: It’s very hard; prepare yourself for ups and downs — as in every startup and even more! Do not stop believing if you get feedback from investors like we did: Some tell you, “you are too early”. Others say, “you are too late for us”.
It looks like you are up for that challenge!?
“The people behind Biop Medical are awesome! Biop Medical is a 24/7 project. Our team is truly multidisciplinary, strongly bonded, highly motivated and fully dedicated. We have known each other for many years before Biop Medical was established. We are family!”
At the end of the year we have to look back at 2016, what numbers have been significant for Biop Medical last year? Any major investments or milestones?
Dalit: 83 has been one of the magic numbers for us in 2016! We reached 83 percent accuracy and this only by using part of our optical features. In 2017, we plan to increase accuracy to 90 percent. MEDICA was another milestone. We are getting ready to distribute our solution in Western Europe and especially Germany. Usually, we do not travel that much, since we have to be involved with the R&D work in our lab, which is located in Ramat-Gan, Israel. However, especially in future we do need to spend more time to do our clinical study in Europe and focus on fund-raising in international conferences like MEDICA. So I guess there are more milestones coming in 2017! Dalit, Ilan, thanks for the interview and CU next year at the conferences worldwide!