USF Research News

Spotlight on University of South Florida Women’s Health Technologies

May 19, 2014

ClearSpec® Single Use Vaginal Speculum and Ovation Diagnostics' early ovarian cancer screening test helping to improve women's health

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida has a broad portfolio of products focused on women's health issues. Technologies like the ClearSpec® Single Use Vaginal Speculum and Ovation Diagnostics' urine test to detect ovarian cancer are just two examples of how USF is excelling in women's care.

ClearSpec Medical, developer of a new, patented and FDA cleared device, recently launched its first product, the ClearSpec® Single Use Vaginal Speculum. The innovative device has been scientifically proven in an IRB randomized clinical study to improve visualization of the cervix, which can help the approximately 19 million women in the US who receive annual gynecological exams. ClearSpec's multi-planar tissue retraction solves many of the issues associated with cervical examinations, ultimately resulting in better disease diagnosis and treatment.

ClearSpec has exclusively licensed the lateral wall retractor vaginal speculum technology developed at University of South Florida by Dr. M. Rony Francois. The company recently exhibited at the 2014 American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) annual meeting, the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. ClearSpec also recently entered into a distribution agreement with McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc., for distribution of their device to physicians' offices, home care agencies, long-term care facilities and surgery centers in the United States. See more information about ClearSpec Medical and their products.

Another technology advancing women's care is a urine test to detect ovarian cancer, a deadly disease with vague symptoms. USF's Dr. Patricia Kruk, professor of pathology and cell biology, Morsani College of Medicine, USF Health, developed a simple, more sensitive dipstick screening test that measures the urinary levels of Bcl-2, which was found to be ten times higher in women with ovarian cancer than it is in healthy women. Kruk's urine assay is the only non-invasive ovarian cancer diagnostic in development right now.

There are more than 22,000 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and a lack of early, overt symptoms and the absence of a reliable screening test result in over 70% of women being diagnosed after the disease has spread beyond the ovary. This innovative technology can help with early detection, when survival rates are much higher. Kruk's patented technology was recently in the "Final Four" finalists for the 2014 Cade Museum Prize, and won the People's Choice Award, voted on by the audience. See information about this technology [video].

In addition to health technologies, USF has a large, diverse portfolio that includes medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, software, nanotechnologies, wireless technologies, as well as a wide variety of other innovations. See information about current USF technologies.

About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Media contact: Lauren Golin,