Honestly, there’s very little reason to leave Australia. We literally have it all: snow capped mountains, white sandy beaches, awesome cities, excellent coffee and the pièce de résistance – universal healthcare.
Our healthcare system isn’t perfect by any means, but when you look at other countries, we have a lot to be grateful for with our Government consistently investing in public health initiatives like the National Cervical Screening Program.
Since its inception in 1991, the Program has seen the incidence of and mortality rates from cervical cancer HALVE thanks to recalls, reminders and campaign pushes which make putting off your cervical screening test that bit harder to forget.
Despite our Government’s best efforts, screening rates remain relatively low with only 46% of eligible women aged 25-74 getting their scheduled test between 2018-2019. Assuming that health trends translate, this figure would be markedly lower thanks to COVID putting yet another barrier in the way.
Traditional cervical screening isn’t something women are hankering to do either. The test is invasive, uncomfortable and can often be painful, but pestering from your doctor and your trusted public health agency will highlight its importance, and hopefully make you book in.
Countries with less developed public health initiatives have higher rates of cervical cancer, prompting TruScreen (ASX: TRU) to create a unique cervical cancer screening device to address many of the challenges that women face with these tests including discomfort, failed samples and long wait times for test results.
The TruScreen device does not rely on external laboratory infrastructure. A purpose designed digital wand is placed on the surface of the cervix to measure electrical and optical signals from tissues. An algorithm then evaluates the signals for detection of precancerous change or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
The Company has established a cervical cancer screening centre in Cludad de Mexico (Mexico City) in partnership with MexPharm Medical Clinical.
MexPharm is a leading healthcare provider in the country and will operate the new centre which will utilise TruScreen’s technology, expanding the Company’s footprint within Mexico.
The agreement to use the TruScreen devices within the new centre was negotiated by TruScreen’s Mexican distributor, Sunbird S.A de C.V. The centre will serve as a training facility for clinicians wanting to learn about the device.
The new centre agreement further expands TruScreen’s presence after the Company established a service centre in Mexico, removing the need for the devices to be returned to Australia for servicing.
The addressable market for TruScreen in Mexico is significant, with a population of over 65 million women aged 15 and over.
Cervical cancer ranks as the second most frequent cancer diagnosed amongst women in Mexico. Health data puts the amount of Mexican women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year at almost 9,500 whilst over 4,300 die from the disease.
TruScreen’s streamlined testing process has wide potential for use in the country, says company CEO Juliet Hull. “We are thrilled to partner with highly respected healthcare group MexPharm Medical Clinical. The TruScreen-based cervical cancer screening centre in their new clinic in Mexico City will further build on our existing presence in the huge Mexican market. We look forward to using it to showcase our unique medical technology and provide cervical cancer screening services to local businesses. While doing this, the centre will also be an ideal base to provide training services.”
TruScreen recorded a 48% increase in sales for FY22, and a 34% increase in revenue. The Company still logged a net loss of over $7.8 million, up 126% on the prior financial year. Operating expenses increased 16% for the year, leaving the Company with $2.7 million in the bank.
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