Think of the following scenarios: you have a nagging tooth which you’re not sure whether to extract, or perhaps you hurt your back at a basketball game. In each case you can go and consult with a doctor who will probably send you to get an X-ray. Once you have that X-ray image in your possession, you have a few options: you can either stick to your local dentist/orthopedic specialist or you can use that information – in digital or hard copy – and easily consult with any expert you choose.
You might take this for granted, but the ability to obtain a digital image gives you, the patient, in many ways, ownership over the medical process and, more importantly, your body, by allowing you to easily choose between several specialists and treatment methods; you are no longer dependent on your local doctor’s expertise, but can seamlessly share your medical data to receive the best medical advice available to you.
Sadly, this isn’t the case when it comes to gynecology. When a woman goes to her local gynecologist for a cervical screening or a Pap test, she has no choice but to rely on his judgment, hoping that he “gets it right”. There is no form of digital documentation or image archiving, and should she wish to get a second opinion, she’ll have to go through this entire dreading and unpleasant procedure all over again.
Although women comprise roughly 50 percent of the world’s population and hold many influential positions in policy, economics, finance as well as the healthcare industry, it appears that gynecological examination, for some reason, hasn’t advanced as much as other medical fields. Take the speculum for instance (used by gynecologists to perform the examination), for over 150 years that device has pretty much retained its shape, capabilities and function without any significant changes.
One can argue over the reasons why gynecological examination hasn’t caught up with the 21st century yet. Perhaps the field was dominated for too long by male-physicians who preferred to keep things just as they were. What I am sure of, however, is that the times are changing. The Gynescope™ system, developed by Illumigyn™, has two main purposes. First, to provide gynecologists with superb optical vision capabilities in order to reduce subjectivity when screening for cervical cancer. Second, the Gynescope’s™ digital imaging and archiving capabilities enable women to take real control over the process. Not only do they actually possess digital images of their cervical exam, they can also have them interpreted within a short time by world-renown experts, and only afterwards, make informed decisions. These days, we can see tech giants as Apple, Google and Amazon investing billions of dollars in reshaping healthcare. Utilizing their core strengths, these companies will eventually collaborate with innovative technologies such as the Gynescope™ to empower physicians with new tools and insights, completely transforming medical decision making.
Finally, a note on one of the most important social phenomena of 2017 – the MeToo movement. Women of all ages and geographies rose up and decided to stop keeping quiet. Utilizing social media, their message was spread worldwide with an instant. I think it would be fair to assume that the same forces that kept gynecology years behind in theses aspects are also the ones that allowed for sexual misconduct to be the norm and stopped women from taking control over their lives. In Illumygin™, we’re harnessing the power of technology to fight this battle on our end.