The healthcare system has reached a breaking point. Medical science keeps advancing but costs are rising beyond what is sustainable. One way to manage runaway healthcare costs is through early detection. By keeping people healthy and monitoring their condition regularly, disease can often be detected sooner and treated before it becomes acute and requires more expensive interventions.
Although the technology exists, there is a lack of small, portable, and inexpensive biodetection platforms to link biology to microchips in a way where they can be used easily and inexpensively, and that can then share test data via digital networks. These devices would run tests in seconds or minutes, producing results without sending samples to a lab.
In order to fill this need, Sensor-Kinesis, a development stage high-tech company, has come up with a medical technology platform to identify pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, as well as the early stage of certain cancer biomarkers. They are developing a handheld label-free device for early detection of human diseases as well as environmental pathogens.
Sensor-Kinesis is licensing Sandia National Laboratories’ shear horizontal surface acoustic wave (SH-SAW) biosensor array technology for use in some of their devices. Sandia’s SH-SAW biosensor array is an R&D 100 award-winning technology originally developed with the University of New Mexico. These sensors have been demonstrated for the detection of bacteria, viral particles, and proteins. Sandia is now working with Sensor-Kinesis to validate the commercial use of the sensor in a range of applications in medical and industrial settings.
By utilizing Sandia SH-SAW biosensors, Sensor-Kinesis is taking advantage of proven technology that will help make their vision of creating portable devices that rapidly produce accurate test results a reality. While they continue to develop products for a variety of applications, they can leverage Sandia’s research into products which can be brought to market in the very near future.
Sensor-Kinesis is working to bring biosensor technology to market at a cost point that will make it readily available to individual doctors, smaller health care institutions, and food and air quality agencies, as well as health providers in remote locations. Early applications could include the efficient and inexpensive detection of air and waterborne pathogens in restaurants, hospitals, and hotels. The long-term goal is to have these medical devices be affordable and easy to use. That way they can be used by individuals at home to monitor conditions so they can be caught in the early stages, before they require expensive medical care.