Biop Medical, an Israeli startup has made it to the finals of a U.S medical innovation competition
Biop Medical, an Israeli company has made it to the finals in the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit for cancer research. Biop developed an optical scanner for early detection of cervical cancer, using IBM’s Bluemix platform.
Biop Medical, which develops cloud integrated medical equipment technologies for early detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer, is one of four companies selected as finalists in the international Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit in Ohio. The company was selected out of hundreds of medical enterprises from all over the world who participated in the preliminary stages of the competition. The finals will be held next week.
Biop Medical uses IBM cloud platforms, mainly the Bluemix and soft layer platforms to perform advanced image analysis and archive images. The Bluemix platform offers a flexible development environment and APIs for databases, advanced analysis, etc. Biop Medical takes part in the first cycle of IBM’s accelerator program in Israel, IBM Alpha Zone, which supports innovative developments in cloud environments.
“The consultation, guidance and support provided by the IBM team as part of the accelerator program have assisted greatly in the planning processes of the solution architecture and in the needed IT infrastructure definition”, says Ilan Landesman, founder and CEO of Biop Medical. “There is no doubt that a long term technological and business collaboration will benefit both parties, and we already see the results”, Landesman adds.
The medical device developed by Biop Medical can monitor cervical tissue, using a high resolution optical system. The images obtained are sent to the IBM cloud – where the unique Biop Medical software runs, assisting the gynecologist with early, real-time diagnosis of pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue.
The device is small, cost effective and holds clear clinical advantages compared to existing diagnostic technologies – mainly due to its real-time capabilities.
The development is based on research proving that healthy tissue displays different characteristics from cancerous tissue, characteristics which can be identified using optical technologies. Biop Medical’s solution uses a combination of tools for identifying these different characteristics. Analysis of the information obtained from the optical scan allows a precise diagnosis and provides the exact location of the infected areas in a single scan.
“Our system can translate the optical signature compared to the state of the cervical tissue”, explains Landesman. “It identifies the correlation between the optical signature and the state of the biological tissue and sends this information to the IBM cloud environment, where a unique algorithm is used for the analysis process of the different phenomena, and interpretation is received within minutes. A database of raw data is formed during continuous work and as part of the cloud. IBM’s unique tools conduct advanced analysis of the uploaded images, and can even predict future risks and recommend additional tests”.
Ilan Landesman believes that the system will allow the offering of prevention plans and continuous follow-up plans for detection of cervical cancer even in countries that are not currently running an organized national program for this issue, such as India or countries in Africa. The company’s roadmap includes the operation of long-distance medical services - images are stored in the database and sent for analysis at a distant location. This will allow comparison of each test with millions of other tests – enabling improved precision in diagnostic processes.
Biop Medical was founded in 2013, has operated within the framework of the Office of the Chief Scientist’s incubator program, at the Targetech incubator, and joined IBM’s accelerator program. The company consists of an experienced team of professionals in the fields of molecular biology and optics research, together with gynecology experts, researchers from the medical field and engineers. The company has completed the scanning device prototype development stage, and is currently conducting clinical experiments in Israel and Europe. The company is also currently working on setting up designated cloud systems that support the diagnosis, archive and advanced analysis applications.
According to Dror Pearl, leader of the Global Technology Unit (GTU) at IBM Israel, Biop is an excellent example for how developers can use Bluemix, “Work on this platform releases the developer from the need to deal with infrastructure management and from dependency on hosting services for the solution, and on the practical aspect, it focuses on the intelligence, on what matters – core development of the application”, says Pearl.