For most types of cancer, a biopsy is the only way to make a definitive cancer diagnosis, and is crucial in deciding the best treatment strategy. However, while the number of qualified pathologists constantly decreases, the number of patients increases dramatically. The industry faces multiple operational problems that not only result in strong cost pressures, but increase error rates and time necessary to complete the pathology report.
The Germany-based startup Inveox is determined to revolutionize the preparation procedures of cancer diagnosis, and aim to automate the so far manual tissue handling process in pathology laboratories. They are set to establish a fully automated pathology lab, and have developed a smart container for human tissue samples. This enables an automated machine for the very first time to prepare standardized object plates needed for digital image processing. In addition, they are developing a digital platform that gather, store and analyze additional medical information during the process.
As the number of new cancer cases is expected to rise dramatically the next 15 years, the startup’s vision and innovative technology could increase efficiency and guarantee a mix-up free process without human errors. This means potentially a faster definitive diagnosis for millions of cancer patients worldwide, which could translate into a faster treatment start. The technology could even open up the possibility of automating the writing of the pathology report.
More than 60% of the world’s new cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. However, many low-income countries in these areas and rural settings do not have the necessary infrastructure to make a pathologic diagnosis. If targeting this market, Inveox could not only help increase access to a definitive diagnosis, but also establish cancer registries, which is imperative in order to develop preventative strategies.
Inveox was founded by Maria Driesel and Dominik Sievert, and the startup is currently in the final stage of their prototype development. The technology is developed in close cooperation with leading German and US pathology labs, and some of their partners include UnternehmerTUM, Fraunhofer IIS and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen.