• 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
Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Stay out, the water's filthy! Germs ruin Swedes' swims
Seagulls only.

Fancy a dip? If so, you might want to keep your mouth shut.

Man kicked off flight from Sweden over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A flight from Stockholm was delayed on Thursday after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Homes
In pictures: Are Swedes falling in love with colour at last?
What happened to the Swedish greyscale? Photo: Linda Åhman

Antonia Wiklund of Houzz.se investigates why the Swedes are abandoning their sleek and clean interior design for vibrant colours.

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish cold poached salmon
Cold poached salmon. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Poached salmon is a Swedish summer classic. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Property
This castle: yours for the price of a tiny flat
Hägerstads Castle: a tumultuous history. Photo: Skeppsholmen Sotheby's International Realty.

It has turrets, is set on a lake and is just 2 hours from Stockholm. So why's it so cheap?

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,336
jobs available