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(Neuchatel, Switzerland and Boston, Massachusetts, April 25, 2017)

1Drop Diagnostics, a Switzerland- and Boston-based medical diagnostics and life sciences company has announced that the funding of their collaboration with clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) on portable medical diagnostics of heart disease in primary care settings has been continued by the Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation & Technology (CIMIT) and the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). 1Drop Diagnostics will obtain clinical guidance, specific identification of unmet clinical needs, and the environment to perform validation studies from clinicians at MGH.

The need for quick diagnosis of cardiovascular disease

The team recognizes the pressing need in primary care for high-quality medical diagnostics of cardiovascular disease. The quick diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients is an essential contributor to enhanced quality of care and increased survival rate. Primary care centers, however, do not usually have access to diagnostic devices that can assess cardiovascular disease rapidly and accurately.

Point-of-care diagnostics

While existing point-of-care (PoC) diagnostic devices provide results from a sample of blood, they can be slow, difficult to use and are often not accurate, precise and sensitive enough to fulfill health care professionals’ requirements for disease detection. Most of the devices currently on the market require a medical assistant to draw venous blood from a venipuncture of the patient’s arm. There are also cost considerations for primary care clinics that infrequently measure cardiac biomarkers. The significant upfront costs, usage costs, and maintenance costs associated with such devices can motivate users to turn to central laboratories, which they might see as less cumbersome and more practical.

A new device: immediate results, affordability, ease of use and personalization

1Drop Diagnostics is working with clinicians at Massachusetts General Hospital to investigate a PoC device whose ease of use, high quality results and affordability would enable its use in a wide range of primary care settings, including clinics, nursing and rehabilitation homes, and pharmacies. The device, which would use blood from a finger stick instead of a phlebotomy blood draw, would save time and costs and would allow medical professionals to make informed decisions in a single office visit.

By affordably and rapidly measuring blood biomarkers, the proposed device, comprised of a disposable diagnostic chip and reusable reader, would be capable of saving lives through better, faster medical diagnostics. This means that a personalized healthy baseline could be established and trends away from that baseline could be immediately identified. Crucially, cardiovascular disease would be identified very early and preventive actions could be taken long before serious health problems arise.

Personalized health insights would be delivered by measuring the biomarkers from a single drop of blood, including laboratory quality results and the opportunity to monitor health trends. The system would also allow patients to share their data with their care teams: family, friends and healthcare providers.

Combining new technologies in microfluidics, biochemistry, photonics and connected health

A microfluidic chip that includes a blood filter, microfluidic functional elements, reagents and controls can automatically detect multiple biomarkers after the addition of one drop of sample. All fluid processing steps are encoded in the chip; thus, there is no need for peripheral equipment. The detection of biomarkers can be done at the patient’s side. The chips are developed to be disposable and mass manufactured at a very low cost and used in combination with a reusable optoelectronics reader.

Dr. J. Benjamin Crocker, Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ambulatory Practice of the Future, added “effective and rapid point-of-care diagnostics could be a game changer for the triage of acute cardiopulmonary disease in the primary care setting.”

Dr. Luc Gervais, the founder and CEO of 1Drop Diagnostics, stressed the importance of key partnerships in the development of cutting-edge medical devices, saying, “1Drop has a strong focus on collaboration and partnership. We can only accomplish our ambitious vision of personalized healthcare working together. We embrace a global view of collaboration and seek out the most innovative minds to help advance our portfolio of diagnostic tools so the opportunity to work with our colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital is immensely gratifying. Their key aim, like ours, is to improve health outcomes and the quality of life of patients.”

About 1Drop Diagnostics

1Drop’s goal is to improve patient lives by enabling personalized healthcare through non-invasive diagnostic tests providing actionable health information that is accessible to everyone at any time. 1Drop facilitates the early detection, prevention and management of disease and empowers people to live better lives. 1Drop highly values collaboration, prioritizing the needs of customers and rapidly delivering solutions. 1Drop’s innovative diagnostic solutions for multiplexed assays of proteins, nucleic acids and peptides serve as tools for the development of new therapies and drugs, disease research, and clinical diagnostic tests. The company is based in Neuchatel, Switzerland and Boston, United States and is supported by some of the most highly regarded experts in the field of biosensors.

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