This August, I attended the Shanghai International Innovation competition and even though it did not have a heath related theme, half of the pitches had a medical application indicating the growing number of healthcare innovation companies.
The winner of the UK final was Eva Diagnostics; founded by former students of Imperial College started with the aim of using technology as a platform to aid healthcare providers to strengthen patient-centered practise by accessing up-to-date patient information. They have developed blood based home monitoring devices with the potential to improve patient quality of life and efficiency measures by promoting the management of chronic conditions and diseases.
Anemipoint is a small handheld device able to accurately measure levels of haematocrit (volume of red blood cells) and haemoglobin (protein within red blood cells) from a drop of blood in 30 seconds. Anaemia affects 3% of men and 8% of women in the UK and is defined as an inadequate amount of red blood cells or haemoglobin leading to a reduced oxygen carrying ability. The device addresses the blood donation, maternity health and nutrition market; with over 100 million blood donations given per year this is a fast way of testing samples, also efficiency in determining whether medication for anaemia treatment is needed by mothers’ is improved. Data is not only used as a diagnostic tool but a secure Cloud based system allows real time data of anaemia prevalence to be collected. AnemiPoint has been tested against the current gold standard and is able to provide the same quality of results. The system has been adapted to work in countries with limited resources; running on a single power charge and requires no reagents, making it sustainable.
HemiStat their other monitor can track symptoms, measure white blood cell count and continuously monitor an individuals response to chemotherapy setting the basis for a more personalised patient healthcare plan in the future. It is the first home monitoring assessment for chemotherapy and is a much needed asset as a reduced white blood cell count is a common side effect and can have dangerous consequences if not handled. Every year 5% of patients develop a serious infection caused by low white blood cell numbers and the device can aid in early detection; helping to better recovery times. It has the potential to save time and money through reducing the number of unneccesary hospital visits as a patients blood count may be too low (previously only able to measure at a hospital) to carry on their next chemotherapy treatment.
The company aims to market launch AnemiPoint by December 2016 and HemiStat in 2018.