Israeli femtech company MobileODT, the developer of a mobile, AI-based cervical cancer screening test, has embarked on a large-scale project in the Dominican Republic to screen women for the disease using its Enhanced Visual Assessment System (EVA System) digital colposcope.
Cervical cancer is a preventable and treatable disease mainly caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus transmitted through sexual activity. The World Health Organization says it’s the fourth most common cancer in women, with over 550,000 cases and more than 300,000 deaths recorded every year, a majority in low and middle-income countries.
A pap smear is usually the first procedure in keeping cervical cancer at bay. If results are abnormal, women will usually next undergo a colposcopy, an uncomfortable medical procedure performed by a gynecologist that magnifies the cervix, vagina, and vulva to check for pre-malignant and malignant lesions.
MobileODT’s EVA Visual Check AI system combines advanced hardware with imaging, data, and software applications to screen for cervical cancer, offering a more comfortable and accessible solution than a general colposcopy, the company says. Its FDA-cleared, smart mobile colposcope uses artificial intelligence to detect the presence of cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer) using digital images of the cervix, and the solution is often more accurate and cost-effective.
The tool is currently used in some 30 countries and across more than 60 US health systems.
Over the past three months, 9,000 women in the Dominican Republic were screened for cervical cancer with the EVA system as part of an initial trial run by the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health, the company reported late last month. Due to its success, the program was expanded to cover another 50,000 women who will be screened over the next six months.
The system is unique because it provides nonspecialists with an AI clinical decision support tool, “predicting how highly trained colposcopists would determine positive or negative cervical cancer diagnosis,” MobileODT said in a statement.
“Many cervical cancer cases happen due to a lack of timely follow-up,” said Dr. Alfredo Levy, MD, OBGYN, one of the leading physicians involved in this project. “The ability to receive the results immediately at the point of care, is a complete game-changer. The EVA VisualCheck system is quick and easy to use, allowing us to screen more patients, and predict results with a high accuracy.”
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MobileOD indicated that the EVA Visual Check system was part of a long-term strategy to develop groundbreaking AI solutions for the femtech market.
“We are the only company in the world with an AI capability in cervical cancer screening,” said MobileODT CEO Leon Boston. “Our unique AI algorithm allows an unprecedented screening scale, that can be life-saving for so many women around the world.”
Earlier this year, MobileODT was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research Authority grant of $2.3 million by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI). And last year, it raised $4 million in a Series C funding round led by OrbiMed Israel Partners, a lead investor in the company in recent years.
MobileODT was founded in 2012 by Ariel Beery, who previously served as CEO, and Dr. David Levitz. In 2020, a dispute between OrbiMed and the MobileODT leadership over an expected investment led to a power struggle and the ouster of Beery as CEO.
To date, MobileODT has raised $26 million.