Kardashian kare: Kim K. touts Prenuvo's full-body MRI scans

The woman who wrote the book on selfies—literally—has bestowed her photographic blessing on an up-and-coming medtech company.

Kim Kardashian took to Instagram on Tuesday to boost the (already high) profile of the scanning service provider Prenuvo, complete with a classic “duck face” mirror selfie in the company’s branded scrubs.

The Silicon Valley startup offers full-body MRI scans, which are enhanced by the company’s artificial intelligence tools and analyzed by radiologists to spot any suspected early-stage tumors or other possible health conditions.

In her post, which included two photos of Kardashian in Prenuvo-branded gear and showcased the Philips MRI scanners favored by the company, the reality star lauded the “life-saving machine,” writing that undergoing one of Prenuvo’s hour-long full-body scans can help “detect cancer and diseases such as aneurysms in its earliest stages, before symptoms arise,” and adding, “It was like getting [an] MRI for an hour with no radiation.”

And while biopharma and medtech companies are no strangers to coughing up the big bucks for celebrity spokespeople, Kardashian was adamant that her support for the company was “#NotAnAd.”

That means that she shelled out the $2,500 Prenuvo charges for a full-body scan—a mere drop in the bucket for a woman whose net worth reportedly sits around $1.7 billion, but a high price to pay for many of her 363 million Instagram followers.

Indeed, Kardashian’s post was immediately flooded with comments taking issue with her promotion of the costly procedure. Among the top replies was one reading, “Kim, this is for wealthy people. People can’t afford food right now,” while another commenter suggested that she “donate some of [her] millions to get people scanned.”

Compounding the issue of accessibility is the fact that most insurers don’t cover the company’s procedures. According to Prenuvo, “It might take years, unfortunately, for healthcare plans to cover preventative MRI scans.”

But while Prenuvo claims that “many studies are showing the effectiveness of whole-body MRI,” other experts aren’t so sure.

A 2016 report (PDF) from the American College of Preventive Medicine advised against the use of whole-body scans for early cancer detection in asymptomatic patients, citing their high costs and the possibility that false-positive findings will lead to unneeded tests, scans and other follow-up procedures—which may themselves be inherently risky and could even unnecessarily expose patients to cancer-causing radiation.

The company is currently recruiting for a clinical trial at its Boston outpost.

Kardashian isn’t the first celebrity to give Prenuvo’s technology her social media stamp of approval. Her own momager, Kris Jenner, underwent the same full-body scan on a recent episode of the family’s eponymous Hulu reality show. Friend of the family Paris Hilton, meanwhile, gave Prenuvo a shout-out on her own Instagram page last fall, and prolific TV host Maria Menounos has credited the company’s MRIs with spotting her stage 2 pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

Prenuvo’s list of investors is equally star-studded: its $70 million series A round closed last fall with support from supermodel Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber, as well as 23&Me CEO Anne Wojcicki and the Eric Schmidt-chaired Steel Perlot.

It may be only a matter of time before Kardashian joins that list, via her recently launched private equity firm Skky Partners.