Group K Diagnostics Develop Innovative, Low-Cost Point Of Care Diagnostic Platform

Group K Diagnostics Develop Innovative, Low-Cost Point Of Care Diagnostic Platform
Rapid diagnosis is key in faster treatment, limiting outbreaks and ultimately improve health outcomes. However, existing diagnostic instruments usually requires sophisticated infrastructure, stable electrical power, expensive reagents, long assay times and highly trained personnel, which is not often available in limited resource settings. As a result, point of care testing represents an important advance in patient care that could provide vital healthcare to low resource settings and developing countries, while decreasing cost and wait-time of current diagnostics in developed countries.

The Philadelphia-based startup Group K Diagnostics is determined to revolutionize healthcare, and is developing a low-cost, paper-based point of care diagnostic system, small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. Their main product, the MultiDiagnostic, is a microfluidic platform that can be used with minimal to no training in any setting. The test employs three different types of diagnostic technologies: a lateral immunoflow assay for detecting infectious diseases, isothermal amplification for diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases, and molecular diagnostics that can determine the quantity of a substance or protein in multiple conditions.

A finger prick of blood, or a small sample of urine or sputum, is placed onto the test, which reacts with dried reagents to induce a colorimetric change within 30 minutes. A picture is taken of the test and uploaded to the complementary app to have results analyzed in seconds. Although still early, the test could eventually handle up to 40 different types of tests, with their first assay for liver function expected to begin clinical trials during the summer of 2017.

In spite of technological advancements the last decades, developing countries still struggle with numerous health challenges. Laboratories and medical testing facilities are often limited and inaccessible to most patients, resulting in high mortality rates. Group K is developing an innovative platform that is easy to use, transport, store and ship, and do not require highly trained personnel. The rapid, inexpensive, ultraportable medical laboratory could become the future of diagnostic testing, increasing access to reliable diagnostics worldwide, in any setting. The state-of-the-art technology could lower cost and wait-time of current diagnostics in developed countries, while significantly improving health outcomes, enable faster treatment for multiple diseases and tracking of public health data in low-resource settings.

Group K Diagnostics was founded by CEO, Brianna Wronko and has won ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Most Fundable’ at Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels’ (MABA) Pitch Life Science Competition Philadelphia, in addition to reaching the semi-finals of the President’s Innovation Prize and Wharton Startup Challenge. The startup also announced that they had joined VIP-C, a community for Penn entrepreneurs to help move their startup to the next level, as well as Dreamit’s Spring 2017 Cohort.