Health Tech: Safer And Cheaper Colonoscopies from Surprising Company

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Science and technology surprise us with new inventions every day. IBEX Technologies have introduced a thin inflatable sleeve that can go into a dark tunnel. It has a camera attached at the front which can record and transmit live video and capture high resolution images.

These RoboSleeve can also be used in areas such which include, earthquake-affected areas, hurricanes, collapsed mines. Also, sewage, water and gas pipelines can be inspected by this RoboSleeve.

The founders of IBEX, Oleg Popov, and Raphael Moisa came up with the idea of a spinoff which will go inside a 2-meter long tunnel in the human body called Colon. Doctors recommend colonoscopies to detect cancer in older people. If this type of cancer is detected early, there is 92% chance of survival of the patient. These colonoscopies are expensive, costing about $60,000. The poor might not be able to afford such expensive colonoscopy. Furthermore, the procedure is dangerous, It might negatively affect the Colon.

Tested on animals and simulators

IBEX designed disposable endoscope which can enter the colon like a “soft elongated party balloon, the type you make animals out of,” says Ido Agmon, Consis Medical’s business development manager. “Inverted sleeve expands and carries itself all the way through the colon, gently and quickly.” The device has been tested on animals and proved safer and cheaper as compared to the traditional endoscope. As Agmon tells, “an elongated semi-rigid tube that the doctor has to navigate through the colon. It’s very painful, it takes time and it’s not pleasant at all, not for the patient and not for the doctor either... it only expands from its front end and doesn’t have to be pushed,”

He adds, “It’s the size of a capsule, less than 10 centimeters long,” Agmon points out. “That’s a big difference than cleaning a 2-meter-long endoscope with many small cavities and channels.”

Cheaper than the competition?

Illustrative photo

Consis Medical Sleeve and Imaging PillCm 2, both work differently. However, they have 1 thing in common, both are less invasive than traditional colonoscopies. Furthermore, other Israeli companies such as GI view and a German company Invendo made disposable endoscope and were approved by FDA, a year ago and January 2018, respectively.

Agmon argues that the Consis Medical sleeves costs only $100 per unit which is the cheapest in the market. He says, “Our plan is to get into the first human clinical trials in the next 12 months,” FDA is probably going to take 3 to 4 years to fully approve this new device.

An interesting thing about the company is that it is looking to collaborate rather than complete with the companies currently working on colonoscopy, such as Olympus. Agmon says, “This market needs to go single use, that’s why Ambu bought Invendu.”

Illustrative photo

Agmun also identifies problems that come with this new device. He says, “there are two problems: First, virtual usually means using a CT machine with x-rays to examine the colon, not necessarily a cheaper or safer alternative.

Second, while virtual exams and capsule technologies can spot suspicious polyps, they cannot remove them. A classic colonoscopy is needed in order to do a biopsy” He adds, “So most doctors prefer the real colonoscopy from the start,”

Consis Medical currently has 3 people on board and they have a goal to raise $2 Million to build a larger team.

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