To identify genetic mutations, viruses or bacteria, you need at least 2 hours and a large laboratory filled with specialist equipment. Right? Apparently, wrong. Genomtec is a Poland-based company that challenges the state of the art of molecular diagnostics, offering a device that can not only analyze your DNA and RNA in 20 minutes, but also fit into your pocket.
The idea of the project was born over a cup of tea at the Wroclaw Medical University, about a year ago. Professor Tadeusz Dobosz, a well-known specialist in clinical genetics with almost 50 years of academic experience, was working on a portable system for phenotype identification. Miron Tokarski, a brilliant laboratory diagnostician and Ph.D. student, was so inspired by this project that he started to consider creating a small device specifically for that purpose. Together, they decided that instead of working on this invention from the safety of the University, they will try to enter the commercialization path.
Genomtec ID is the world’s first portable device that can analyze virtually every sample – blood, tissue, saliva, or other body fluids. All you have to do is place the sample on a reactive card and enter it into the device. In just 20 minutes, Genomtec ID identifies bacteria, viruses, fungi, or genetic mutations – all with 99.9% accuracy. As the process doesn’t require any preparation of the sample, the device can be used by both medical personnel and people without any specialist knowledge.
The first objective of the Genomtec team is to facilitate the diagnostics of most common infectious diseases, such as Staphylococcus aureus (also known as golden staph), hepatitis B (HBV), or Chlamydia trachomatis (CT). The high accuracy will prove especially helpful for pediatricians, informing them whether a particular infection is caused by viruses or by bacteria. This information is extremely valuable in pharmacotherapy and helps to fight antibiotic resistance among children.
The device is designed for non-academic environments – for doctors, veterinaries, and patients. These groups have insufficient access to molecular diagnostics, what inhibits the decision-making process based on genetic data. Genomtec ID has the dimensions of a glucometer and is extremely easy to work with, so every person will be able to use it instantly, without any training.
Currently, the Genomtec team is still in the R&D phase. They plan to run first clinical tests and finalize the work on a prototype in 2018. A year later, the device will be certified, and the company will launch their solution on the market in 2020.