• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

American teams up with Swede to beat cancer

Patrick Reilly · 23 Jul 2014, 11:00

Published: 22 Jul 2014 13:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Jul 2014 11:00 GMT+02:00

Volsky, 35, made the switch from southern California to Stockholm in 2008. He got his Masters at Stockholm University in sustainable business development and it was during his studies that the seeds for his future career were planted.

"During the middle of my studies I began working with my sister-in-law, Elisabeth Wikström Shemer, who is a gynaecologist. She had developed a prototype of her invention, the Gynocular," Volsky tells The Local.

The Gynocular is a revolutionary medical device which is used for screening cervical cancer. What makes it stand out is that it is portable, battery powered, weighs just 480 grammes, and can easily be transported around the world.

Cervical cancer claims thousands of lives every year. It begins when pre-cancer forms in tissues of the cervix with many women not showing any symptoms until it is too late.

Women aged between 25-49 are considered most at risk and are encouraged to go for regular screening tests.

"Sadly cervical cancer is increasing but if it is spotted early then it can be treated successfully," says the American, who is the CEO of Gynius which manufactures and sells the device.

He adds; "The Gynocular works by taking a magnified view of the cervix and if there is an abnormal lesion the doctor can detect it."

In essence the colposcope performs the same function as what most women in Europe will undergo if their smear test shows abnormal results.

In developing countries a method called VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid) is used instead of a smear.

"With VIA they are looking at the cervix with the naked eye. Women with a positive test should have a colposcopy examination to further evaluate the cervical lesion to avoid overtreatment. But often, there is a lack of access to colposcopy.

"We developed the Gynocular with the developing world in mind and conducted clinical studies in Bangladesh, Uganda and Sweden where it has been very successful," says Volsky.

The entrepreneur said getting the business off the ground was made easier in Sweden. He landed investment from the H&M Conscious Foundation, an independent organization that supports causes such as education, clean water, and strengthening women in countries where H&M operates.

“At the start we had a lot of soft money and support from the government. In Sweden it is definitely easier to get your business going but it is probably more expensive as time goes by. There is a great appetite for social entrepreneurship here,” he says.

Landing the backing of the H&M Conscious Foundation has helped the company to take the Gynocular into the global market. While Volsky is keen to see the product reach all four corners of the world he is proud of the interest it has generated in his adopted home

Indeed, the words ‘Made in Sweden’ which features on each device is a major asset when speaking with potential clients such as healthcare professionals in Africa (pictured below). 

“Sweden has a good reputation for quality and design. We are a Swedish company first and foremost and that opens quite a lot of doors. The Gynocular has been rigorously tested in Sweden and the feedback we’ve got from healthcare professionals here has been very positive,” Volsky tells The Local.

Story continues below…

"I would also like to emphasize the importance of having a multicultural team,’’ Volsky explains. 

‘’Working with Elisabeth and her husband Isaac Shemer (also an MD-PhD) has taught me a lot about how different cultures approach challenges and manage operations. I think having this unique perspective, which is not so common in the US has helped us become successful."

The entrepreneur said that a wide variety of clients have invested in a Gynocular from private clinics to public hospitals. Volsky takes enquiries from all around the world all keen on getting their hands on the portable device which could be the difference between life and death.

“In the past few days we’ve shipped to Ireland, the US, Panama, and India. And so far, after only a few months on the market, we are already in over 25 markets.Our mission really though is to get the product into more developing countries." 

“That’s where the Gynocular really comes into its own as there nothing else out there like it,” concludes Volsky.

For more information on the Gynocoular colposcope please see www.gynocular.com  

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedes discover secret 150-metre-long cave
Per Bäckström on his way into the cave. Photo: Alexander Bennerstål/TT

They are believed to be the first people to venture into this hidden cave on the Baltic island of Gotland.

No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

UPDATED: Almost 200 people paid their respects at the funeral of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack. But police told The Local they have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Swedish couple banned from owning animals kept 100 cats
Not the cats mentioned in the article. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Animal protection officers seized around 100 cats from the couple in Halland.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Stockholm school segregates boys and girls in gym class
A gym class for first-graders. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

"Some of our girls want to be able to take off their veils and wear shorts and T-shirts in their classes," a teacher explained.

This Brit moved to Sweden and opened his dream café
Härnösand café owner Shaun Corby. Photo: Johanna Corby

Shaun Corby tells The Local how following his Swedish wife to Härnösand turned out to be the best move he ever made.

Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,385
jobs available