MobioSense's Portable, Affordable Device Diagnose Heart Attacks In 10 Minutes

MobioSense's Portable, Affordable Device Diagnose Heart Attacks In 10 Minutes

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year of a heart attack. Rapid diagnosis and treatment is key. The longer we wait, the more damage the heart muscle suffers, and the lower the chance of full recovery. As a result, tremendous efforts are being made to speed up the diagnosis process.

Currently, a heart attack is diagnosed by a combination of clinical symptoms, electrocardiographic changes and a blood test. The blood test measures cardiac troponin levels, an integral component of the heart muscle that is released into the bloodstream in the event of damage to the heart. While highly specific, the traditional troponin blood tests have a lower sensitivity, which can result in false negatives. To overcome this limitation, it is recommended to repeat measurements a number of times over 12 to 24 hours. This can not only delay diagnosis and appropriate treatment, but prolong unnecessary inpatient stays, with additional expensive testing for those who do not have a heart attack.

The Taipei-based startup MobioSense is determined to transform heart care. They have developed HERO, a portable and affordable device that use patented antibody-binding semiconductor biochips to instantly diagnose heart attacks. With a single drop of fingerstick blood on the biochip, HERO registers the electrical charges in proteins, giving results in just 10 minutes. According to the startup, the high sensitivity troponin test is 100x more sensitive and 70% cheaper than current tests, and unlike any other platforms it does not require any reagents, refrigeration or cold supply chain.
Chest pain accounts for millions of visits to the emergency department each year. Although a major symptom to heart attack, it can also be completely unrelated to the heart. In fact, only a small percent of all emergency department visits for chest pain are due to heart attacks. As a result of the low sensitivity of current troponin tests, many people who don’t have a heart attack end up staying at the hospital for 1 day of observation, increasing costs and lower efficiency.

MobioSense has developed an innovative, high sensitive solution that can be used in ambulances to begin the diagnostic protocol immediately. A repeat measurement after arriving in the emergency room can reduce total hospital stay from more than 16 hours down to 3 hours, greatly reducing ER overcrowding. Most importantly, it gives doctors and other healthcare providers a tool that provide timely and appropriate care to their patients. HERO significantly speed up the diagnostic process, meaning faster treatment and improved health outcomes. For thousands of people, it could be the difference between life and death. And the device can test for multiple conditions and illnesses, including heart failure, kidney injury and viral diseases. The startup is currently developing biochips to test for additional illnesses.

MobioSense was founded in 2015 and raised $150,000 from friends and family to start their project. They later raised another $200,000 from the Angel Project, the Taipei Startup Fund, the National Executive Yuan Germination Project and the National Taiwan Science Council to develop a second prototype. The startup has developed clinical partnerships with National Taiwan University Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and has been part of MassChallenge Switzerland, PULSE@MassChallenge, 43North and was one of the winners of 2017 UMass Lowell’s M2D2 $100K Challenge.