Getting diagnostics to patients in the developing world is a challenge. There are many obstacles, including issues with remote locations, extreme temperatures, access to a cold chain, and lack of sufficiently trained personnel, but the key stumbling block is generally the cost.
QuantuMDx is tacking these problems by developing hand-held and portable low-cost devices for diagnosis, genomic sequencing and proteomic profiling for both developed and developing nations. These are designed to be simple and user-friendly.
Its most advanced product is the Q-POC point of care device. This is due out next year and its first uses will be for multi-drug-resistant infectious disease testing, including tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and as a companion diagnostic. According to the company, it will deliver results that are as accurate as those from state of the art laboratories, but in less than 20 minutes and at a fraction of the cost. A similar device could both diagnose and stage cancer in less than 20 minutes. This could mean patients getting a diagnosis and starting treatment in one clinic visit, especially important in remote and rural areas.
QuantuMDx is also developing Q-SEQ for DNA sequencing and InVenio for proteomics profiling, and mobile apps to help healthcare professionals support, inform and educate patients.
It's not just the developing world that benefits from point of care diagnostics. Taking the laboratory into the doctor's office will benefit everyone, reducing the number of hospital and clinic visits, and speeding diagnosis and treatment.