The New Pap Smear Could End Up Being a Medical Device Instead with Instant Results– Zilico Systems
Posted Dec 03 2009 7:26am
The device from Zilicos is undergoing clinical trials now in Europe and just from reading this the process sounds a lot nicer to me than the current process that nobody looks forward to. Also, guess what, the device is wireless and reports the data to a computer, so one more device that reports data and ultimately could go into an EHR/EMR. There is also a visual sent to the computer outlining where pre-cancer cells are located.
A mild electrical current is released and the results are sent to the computer. Pre-cancerous cells as the article states conduct electricity at a different rate.
Disposable sleeve – replaced for each patient
Wipe-clean surfaces – suitable for examination rooms
On-board user interface – for ease of operation
Built-in QC tests
PC interface for diagnostic analysis
For most women, pap smear tests are a necessary but often uncomfortable experience they have to endure every few years. And afterwards, they may have a stressful few weeks waiting for the test results. A cervical cancer screening device currently being trialed in Europe could signal the end of pap smear testing. Zilico’s system consists of a portable, handheld device and a base unit and as opposed to pap smear tests, can provide a result in a matter of minutes.
The system consists of a handheld device and docking station and, according to Zilco, is accurate, safe and completely painless. The handheld device has a pencil-shaped probe that is covered in a single-use sterile disposable sheath. When the cervix surface is reached, the doctor presses a button on the handset. This generates a mild electrical current which can be instantly analyzed to see how it passes through the cervical cells. Cells that are pre-cancerous will conduct electricity at a different rate to normal, healthy cells.
The system uses a technique called electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). This measures the impedance or resistivity of cells across a range of frequencies and produces a spectrum showing cell changes and abnormalities. The handheld device is wirelessly linked to a computer program that can highlight areas with pre-cancerous cells.