Kristopher Sturgis

October 21, 2014

4 Min Read
4 Emerging Sensing Technologies You Need to Know About

The XPRIZE Foundation has announced the 11 finalists selected for the $2.25-million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. The competition was designed to develop breakthrough medical sensing technologies that will enable faster diagnostic processes and more efficient health monitoring.

Teams are competing for a $525,000 prize and up to five distinguished awards, each valued at $120,000. Each team was required to submit a technology that will accurately, reliably, and effectively collect meaningful data that can be used for identification or diagnosis of a disease, medical condition, or health pattern. So who are some of these leading industry innovators?

Here are four examples from among the finalists:

1. Remote Blood Analysis from Archimej Technology

DMI rHealth prototype

An rHealth prototype, as shown in MD+DI.

Archimej Technology, a startup based out of Evry, France, focused on developing technology that will make blood analysis available remotely at an affordable price. Their new sensing technology could be the the first steps toward accessing and monitoring blood results that share information on your heart, liver, and kidneys. The technology works in conjunction with a mobile blood analyzer, where the sensing technology communicates between the device and your smartphone or laptop, providing a whole new health monitoring experience with real time results and updates.

2. DMI's Handheld Diagnostics of Blood Drops 

Then there is the DNA Medicine Institute, or DMI, from Cambridge, Massachusetts. They developed a transformative technology known as the rHealth, a handheld diagnostic device that can provide hundreds of diagnostic values from a single drop of blood. It also comes with an all-inclusive vitals patch that can provide comprehensive, uninterrupted health readings wirelessly. Their hope is that this device could provide the opportunity to monitor personal health more effectively, all at the touch of a button.

The rHealth is also a Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE finalist. 


The eyeMITRA, as shown during a TEDMED talk about the device.

3. A Cell Phone-based Retina Imager from eyeMITRA

Another exciting emerging development out of Cambridge was the submission of the eyeMITRA, a cell phone based imager that provides a direct view of the retina, allowing for a more rapid diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication found in roughly one third of diabetics worldwide, and is currently the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the working population. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent blindness, and the eyeMITRA not only provides an accessible diagnostic tool for doctors around the world, but also provides patients with the ability to constantly monitor their own retina for potential health risks. (Read about a similar, earlier technology; the EyeNetra.)

4. Turning a Smartphone into a Testing Platform through Hemolix Technology

The eyeMITRA wasn't the only cell phone based technology, however. A team of engineers from Tampa, Florida, developed a technology that can turn almost any smartphone into a biomedical mobile testing platform that can aid in detecting HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy complication that can be difficult to diagnose due to the variability of symptoms. The Hemolix technology, as it is known, was developed by this team of engineers to diagnose the presence of HELLP syndrome in just a few seconds with reliable accuracy. Today's diagnostic process can take hours, or in some cases over a day to produce results. For those suffering from HELLP syndrome, time is of the essence, and this emerging technology could be a groundbreaking development that can save countless lives.

There are 11 finalists in all, and the final results will take into account an online voting process that will account for 10% of each team's final score. The competition last year unveiled some of the world's leading innovative developments, a few of which have served as the building blocks for some of this year's exciting cutting edge technologies.

The winning teams must demonstrate the highest merit in the areas of accuracy and consistency, demonstration quality, technical innovation, originality, market opportunity, and user experience. The winning team will be announced on November 10th of this year, and although there may only be one winner, all finalists have worked tirelessly to transform the medtech industry for the better. 

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at MD&M Minneapolis, October 29-30, 2014.

Kristopher Sturgis is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Kristopher Sturgis

Kristopher Sturgis is a freelance contributor to MD+DI.

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