2022 Business Innovation Award winner: Zilico

Zilico receives a Business Innovation Award for using bioelectrical technology for the development of more accurate medical device diagnostics, which provide results in real time leading to better patient outcomes.


Zilico is developing the next generation of cancer diagnostic devices that remove subjectivity and increase accuracy and deliver results in real time. For diagnostic devices, these characteristics allow for the improvement and extension of clinical screening programmes globally, such as cervical and oral cancers. There is the potential for these characteristics to be utilised in surgical tools and allow clinicians to provide better-directed biopsies and improved accuracy for tissue margin excision during surgery. 

Disease state of certain conditions can be challenging for clinicians to accurately diagnose. This is due to lack of clear indicators or subjectivity within methods used. Numerous diseases are still visually diagnosed by clinicians, such as oral and cervical cancers. Whilst clinicians are well trained, it is easier for them to diagnose these diseases when they have progressed into a high-grade stage. With the drive across mature healthcare markets to lower the burden of cost of health on nations, there is a new emphasis on detecting diseases earlier and many of these diseases can be effectively prevented or treated if caught at the early pre-cancer stage. Relying solely on clinicians’ visualisation also introduces a high level of subjectivity, especially in the early stages of disease. 

Zilico’s product offering and research is centred on its patented Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) technology, which has applicability across a wide range of neoplastic conditions. Zilico has developed its bioelectric technology as a way of analysing tissue structure as disease progresses from normal to early then late-stage pre-cancer, and then cancer. As the technology is electrically based, this enables the analysis and results to be presented in real time. EIS is based on an understanding of the fundamental principles of bioimpedance properties of tissue, enabling higher accuracy of diagnosis. 

ZedScan, Zilico’s flagship product, is in routine use across several NHS Trusts within the cervical cancer pathway. 

About the company

Zilico is a medical device developer within cancer pathways. Its bioelectrical technology analyses the changes in the electrical properties of cells and tissue. These changes act as a surrogate marker for disease and provide accurate diagnosis in real time to clinicians. ZedScan is the company’s flagship product within the cervical cancer pathway.