Silicon Valley-based Theranos famously promised an in-office blood analysis device that could conduct dozens of tests from a single finger prick. That turned out to be a fraud, but other startups – including three from Israel – are attempting to do it right.
One of them, PixCell Medical of Israel, was just named to PM360’s Innovative Companies of 2020 list. PM360 is a monthly magazine covering the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics industries.
A recent study conducted by the University of Maryland and Sweden’s Linköping and Uppsala Universities compared PixCell’s HemoScreen system to standard analyzers and found that HemoScreen can deliver “lab-equivalent results rapidly at the point of care.”
Results are returned in just six minutes and, like Theranos, require only a single drop of blood.
Rapid diagnostics have become even more important in 2020 as a means of “managing Covid-19 patients’ disease progression and clinical decision making,” PixCell Medical CEO Dr. Avishay Bransky explained.
PixCell uses viscoelastic focusing (VEF)technology to line up cells in a single plane for easier and faster analysis by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“You can differentiate between many types and subtypes of cells, and you are able to also enumerate and detect abnormal cells, which is not possible with even the highest level of full-blown analyzers,” Bransky adds.
PixCell Medical’s HemoScreen competes with two other Israeli startups in the same blood testing space: Sight Diagnostics’ OLO point-of-care 10-minute blood diagnostics device that also only requires only a finger prick of blood (another PM360 pick); and the battery-powered RevDx blood count device from Engineering for All.
PixCell’s HemoScreen received FDA clearance in 2018. The company, founded in 2009 and based in Yokne’am, counts among its clients Changing Cancer Care, an EU-backed project to treat oncology patients at home in the border region of Denmark and Germany; the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden; and NSW Health Pathology in New South Wales, Australia.
To learn more about PixCell Medical’s technology, read Bransky’s paper in The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine.