How a Stay-at-Home Australian Mum built a Business Empire | The Daily Mail | 24th April 2016

When Jennifer Holland was 38 weeks pregnant with her second child, she took her 15 month old to the doctor.

As little Ronan sat squirming in her lap, the doctor struggled to prise her son’s mouth open with a wooden tongue compressor in an attempt to shine a light down his throat.

The exchange got the stay at home mother-of-four thinking, and today Mrs Holland is the founder of a $15 million business called Throat Scope.

A throat scope is an all-in-one device that combines a disposable blade with a torch.

The instrument is designed to replace a standard wooden tongue compressor and torch – which require the use of two hands instead of one.

Despite having no medical background, 33-year-old Mrs Holland, who lives in Newcastle Australia and was previously a financial accountant, started to do some research online and that led her to create the first prototype of what would later become the Throat Scope.

‘The very first prototype was a piece of plastic – polycarbonate plastic – that I had lying around the house and a LED torch,’ Mrs Holland said.

‘I realised that the light transmitted through the plastic and I could produce a product that was very price-competitive with the wooden tongue compressor.’

Additionally, the device means that doctors have a free hand to hold a squirming child if they need to, she said.

The end result is the Throat Scope: a torch with a disposable blade that is placed inside the mouth.

In 2014, Mrs Holland appeared on the entrepreneurial television series Shark Tank to pitch her idea.

Before walking out to meet the ‘sharks’, Mrs Holland said her nerves started to get the better of her, but her six-year-old son stepped in and said: ‘Mum you look after four of us every day, you can do this’.

‘It gave me the confidence,’ she said and the Throat Scope became the only pre-sales idea on that season of the series to land a deal.

After her success on the show, Mrs Holland put together a team and started commercialising the Throat Scope.

The product retails for 30 cents, making it a competitive alternative for the wooden tongue compressor that retails for four cents.

Throat Scope launched in 2015 and is estimated to be worth $15 million deal following a deal with medical distributor GIMA Italy that will launch the products in 140 different countries.

The product has also launched in Canada and is available in Chemmart pharmacies in Australia.

A Newcastle doctor also took Throat Scopes on a trip to Papua New Guinea.

Mrs Holland said the device was just as useful for parents at home as it was for hospitals or the local doctor.

She said she was reminded about the advantages of the device when her youngest daughter, two-year-old Isabella, was taken to hospital after the anaphylactic toddler smeared peanut butter on her face.

‘I watched while two nurses were holding her down as the doctor was trying to open her mouth, it was the same situation,’ she said.

At home, the device can be used for new teeth, to look at a sore throat for strep throat and even for ulcers.

‘Being a mum has given me all the foundations for the skills I needed in business,’ she added.

Read the original article HERE

Throat Scope Offers Life-Saving Answers | The Newcastle Herald | 16th February 2017

Wound Scope Logo

Imagine being the parents of the six-year-old boy in the UK who was playing with his sister and discovered a small spot on the roof of her mouth?

That “spot” turned out to be an oral cancer. And early detection saved her life.

Throat Scope is a medical device that families and practitioners can use to make oral examinations part of a monthly routine health check.

Throat Scope incorporates a tongue depressor and light source in the one easy-to-use unit.

The device has recently been endorsed by the United States Oral Cancer Foundation as the number one tool to detect oral cancer in its early stages.

Oral cancer has one of the highest mortality rates if left undiagnosed and untreated. The survival rate of 30 per cent could be vastly improved with early detection.

More common names for the disease include mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer and throat cancer.

Approximately 1250 people in Australia will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017. Oral cancer is visible. And that means that early detection can save lives.

Jennifer Holland, CEO and founder of Throat Scope said the company is on a mission to “light up throats around the world and educate people to recognise the signs of oral cancer.”

In July 2017, Throat Scope will introduce Oral Cancer Awareness Week on the east coast of Australia. Pop-up clinics will offer free screenings, manned by specialist volunteers.

“Symptoms can include mouth pain, persistent swelling, unusual bleeding, changes in speech and difficulty swallowing. If it’s red, white or black and has been there for longer than two weeks, you need to get yourself to your GP,” Holland said.

“Throat Scope is being used in homes to investigate sore throats, inspect new teeth in infants and detect mouth sores that might be ominous.”

Throat Scope provides families and medical practitioners with an easy, fast and accurate device to examine oral cavities. And while that doesn’t sound romantic, it can certainly be life saving.

Read the original article HERE