Canadian start-up advancing gynecological research and work by addressing pelvic floor disorders in women
By Sean Tarry
For women living with pelvic floor disorders, options available to treat symptoms have traditionally been limited, cost prohibitive, and ranging with respect to invasiveness. And, presenting conditions that can severely affect the muscles, tissues, and ligaments of the female pelvic floor, organs are often impacted, resulting in incontinence, varying degrees of discomfort, and an overall reduced or restricted quality of life. However, following years of research and work, Cosm Medical Corp. is bringing forward a solution that combines the latest in advanced technologies to create personalized vaginal devices that could positively affect the lives of millions of women around the world.
Improving gynecological care
The innovative Toronto-based company’s gynecological platform leverages AI, cloud software, and 3D printing to modernize vaginal devices, designing them to meet patient-specific needs and accommodate each unique body. Cosm’s first product is expected to hit the market next year and is set to change the way pelvic floor disorders in women are treated forever. Its Gynethotics pessaries, the world’s first personalized gynecological prosthetic for pelvic floor disorders, will address prolapse and incontinence, which are disorders that will affect half of all women in their lifetimes. Beyond pessaries, Cosm’s platform also presents expansive opportunities for the company to improve the continuum of pelvic care, from obstetrics to elderly care, ushering in an age of digital gynecology and significant improvements to the lives of over one million women around the world by 2030.
Derek Sham, Founder and CEO of Cosm Medical Corp., is no stranger to medical innovation. The ex-engineer whose claim to fame is his development and commercialization of the most utilized urodynamics system in the world is the brains behind the invention. He also provided the impetus for it, having worked with some of the best doctors in the field of urogynecology in efforts to help his grandmother whose life was drastically affected by pelvic floor disorders. He was unable to find her the treatment she required, leading to his recognition of the need for advancement within the field.
“Currently available gynecological prosthetics have existed for over 2,000 years, and haven’t changed much since the 1970s,” he explains. “With over 100-plus shapes and sizes fit by trial and error, current pessaries have a 30% failure fitting rate. In fact, about half of all women stop using them within a year or two due to discomfort or a combination of other issues. And, over half develop complications as a result of long-term use. With over 10 million devices sold globally per year, pessaries are a commonly used medical device that many people haven’t heard about. Every woman is different. By replacing trial and error with personalization, Cosm is leading the future of digital gynecology by partnering with providers to develop Gynethotics, personalized gynecological devices for precision care. We are the world’s first personalized pessary to have received market approval and are creating a product category to modernize care much like the established and mature billion-dollar industries of custom orthotics, dental, and hearing.”
Improving quality of life
The company is utilizing AI in much the same way many others are finding use for it. Its capabilities around medical image segmentation significantly improves access and quality while lowering overall labour and the amount of effort required to analyze the large amounts of data. And, it’s combined with biomechanical models in order to predict designs for clinicians.
What Cosm has accomplished to date is really quite remarkable, offering hope and promise for so many women living with the effects of pelvic floor disorders all over the world. And, for Sham, it’s an opportunity that excites him a great deal.
“We are currently beginning to serve payers, providers, and patients starting in Canada before expanding into the United States and beyond. We have a set of clinical studies set to begin for Gynethotics pessaries for our core intended uses of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, alongside novel indications that expand the use of conservative therapy for an issue that affects half of all women in their lifetime.”