Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the healthcare sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at promising oncology solutions.
Heat Map: 8 Top Oncology Solutions
For our 8 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 8 interesting examples out of 480 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Belong.Life – Social Network
Cancer patients, as well as the people who take care of them, need informational, psychological, and social support. A specialized social network for cancer patients, caregivers, and doctors addresses this need. Such a social network provides patient education, navigation, psychosocial and informational support, promotes patient engagement and empowerment, and helps to find appropriate clinical trials.
The US-based startup Belong.Life offers a social network for cancer patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Belong provides patients with personalized content, updates, and customized clinical trial matching. The solution enables cancer patients and their families to receive tips and support from a vast network of other cancer patients and also features the option to chat with doctors, secure storage and patient file sharing.
Forty Seven – Immuno-Oncology Therapies
Immuno-oncology therapies take advantage of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. These therapies employ different mechanisms to help the immune system recognize that cancer cells are foreign to the body and need to be attacked. Some of these mechanisms include immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic vaccines, and adoptive T-cell transfer, among others.
The US-based startup Forty Seven develops an immuno-oncology therapy. The clinical-stage company uses new and complementary phagocytic pathways to enhance anti-tumor efficacy and selectivity. Currently, the company has multiple antibodies in the preclinical, phase I, and phase II stages.
iSono Health – Portable Ultrasound Scanner
Breast cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer deaths among women today and it has become clear that early detection is crucial for the successful treatment of this disease. Innovative technologies and products enable affordable and pain- and radiation-free breast screening. For example, an automated portable ultrasound scanner is one such product. Solutions like this increase patient engagement, screening frequency, and, therefore, chances of early diagnostics.
iSono Health, a US-based startup, builds an ultrasound scanner to detect breast cancer. Their three-dimensional (3D) scanner, ATUSA, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to precisely visualize breast lesions. This ensures painless, fast (one minute per breast), and easy image acquisition that is convenient for both patient and practitioner. The fully automated and hands-free system enables physicians to perform repeatable breast screenings without the need for a trained ultrasound operator.
Elypta – Liquid Biopsy
The most common cancer diagnostics methods come with disadvantages, such as associated risks, high costs, and inconvenience for patients. These disadvantages make them ill-suited for frequent use applications, such as tracking the disease progression. An alternative diagnostic method is the liquid biopsy, which is appropriate for cancer screening and for monitoring of tumor response.
The Swedish startup Elypta builds a metabolism-based liquid biopsy platform. The platform enables several use cases, such as earlier detection of cancer, follow-ups to detect recurring cancer, and treatment response monitoring. The startup’s solution is a minimally-invasive, safe, and convenient method to diagnose and monitor the disease.
Mika – Digital Assistant
A digital assistant focused on cancer patients empowers and supports them through therapy. The assistant, which often comes in the form of an app, provides psychosocial and informational support and allows to track patient wellbeing, symptoms, and reactions to the treatment. Apps like this also serve as an emotional support tool for patients by sharing stories of other cancer survivors.
Mika is a German startup working with physicians and psycho-oncologists to develop a digital assistant app for cancer patients and their families. The app provides daily check-ups and allows patients to monitor and document their physical and mental wellbeing, complaints, and side effects of therapies. Mika also provides information on diagnosis and treatment options, nutritional advice, relaxation exercises, and alerts patients when they need to see a doctor.
C the Signs – Decision Support Tool
It is crucial to detect cancer as early as possible to increase the chances of survival. General practitioners are the first ones to check a patient’s symptoms and therefore play an important role in early cancer identification. However, different cancers come with different symptoms, risk factors, and diagnostic methods. Moreover, early symptoms of cancers are often non-specific and can, therefore, overlap with other diseases. A decision support tool helps primary care doctors address this challenge.
C the Signs is a UK-based startup offering a digital tool to support healthcare professionals in the early detection of cancer. The company’s solution covers multiple diagnostic pathways and helps doctors to identify the types of cancers a patient is prone to. The tool uses algorithms that reflect the natural decision-making process of doctors and also suggests the next steps, such as a test or urgent referral, for each patient based on their situation.
VoxelCloud – Image Analysis
Lung cancer contributes to a large number of cancer deaths globally and is also incredibly hard to detect in the earlier stages. Artificial intelligence-based platforms automate medical image analysis and help physicians to better diagnose lung cancer.
The US-based startup VoxelCloud provides an AI-powered lung cancer screening solution for automated medical image analysis and diagnosis assistance. The software detects lung nodules on images and provides a malignancy risk assessment and quantitative feature extraction. VoxelCloud’s solution integrates into clinical workflow, is FDA approved and CE-marked.
Oncobox – Personalized Treatment
More than a hundred cancer drugs are currently on the market. Such a large number of options makes it hard to decide which of these drugs will be the most beneficial for a particular cancer patient. The choice of the right treatment is especially important for late-stage patients, who don’t have time to try drugs that won’t help them. In response to this challenge, startups are developing solutions that combine genetic tests and molecular profiling to enable truly personalized treatment.
Oncobox is a US-based startup offering a cost-effective, personalized treatment solution for late-stage cancer patients. The company performs full deoxyribose- and ribonucleic acid (DNA/RNA) analyses of the tumor and then simulates the effect of over 140 drugs on the patient’s tumor to determine the most beneficial drugs for a particular patient.
What About The Other 472 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 8 oncology solutions showcased above are promising examples out of 480 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.