The annual Medicine X conference is a great place to learn about potentially transformative new medical technology. Here are a few that captured our attention this year.
Genalyte: Leveraging the power of silicon photonics, antigen printing and cloud-based information transfer, Genalyte offers office-based point-of-care blood testing for Lupus and other rheumatologic autoimmune diseases with a near-instant turn-around time. Conventional blood testing usually requires multiple office visits, vials of blood, and 5-10 days of anxious waiting. With its “move data, not blood” moniker, Genalyte offers accurate answers on up to 128 autoimmune markers in 15 minutes. Did we mention this only takes one drop of blood? Do the fingerstick while taking a patient’s vitals and have the results before she leaves the office.
Guardant: Liquid biopsies for cancer are hot these days, and Guardant is among the leaders. The company has developed systems for detecting minute DNA fragments that cancer cells release when they apoptose. In essence, this is non-invasive tumor genome assessment that can identify lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers at their earliest stages. Think of it as monitoring for cancer’s “tweets.” The company’s new Guardant360 panel identifies 73 “actionable somatic alterations” associated with common forms of cancer.
FeverScout: What parent wouldn’t want a soft, wearable, electronic thermometer shaped like a cute cartoon lightning bolt that lets them continuously monitor their child’s temperature on their iPhones? The FeverScout does just that, providing alert signals when the kid’s temperature hits a problem level. The system also allows parents to share the data with their practitioners. FeverScout is the latest from VivaLnK, which launched the VitalScout personal biometric monitor three years ago.
Qardio: A company that believes in getting to the heart of the matter, Qardio offers super-smart wearable sensors to continuously and wirelessly track cardiovascular function. The QardioArm is a sleek armband that monitors blood pressure and heart rate. The QardioCore is a lightweight thoracic wearable that captures continuous ECG data, as well as heart rate variability, body temperature, activity levels, and stress. The accompanying cloud analytics system can crunch over 20 million data points per day.
CaptureProof: Effective teleconsults depend on high-quality, secure, and HIPAA-compliant image capture. CaptureProof is a complete smartphone-based system enabling doctors and remote patients to grab, analyze, archive and chat about photos and video images of lesions, injuries, rashes and just about any other photographable medical phenom. The company promises 80% more accurate triage, and 75% fewer unnecessary office and ER visits.
MediSafe: Drugs and supplements are only as effective as a patient’s willingness and ability to take them. As any clinician knows, there’s a sharp inverse relationship between the number of pills someone must take and long term compliance. MediSafe is a smartphone app that helps people manage their meds. Designed for chronic disease patients on complicated regimens, MediSafe is a “virtual pillbox” with color-coded reminders, symptom and adverse event logs, links to online coaches, and safeguards to prevent accidental under- and over-dosing. The company is functional medicine-friendly, and the system is designed to accommodate nutraceutical regimens as well as drugs.