The smart lollipop that detects diseases

This lollipop is able to detect hypercholesterolemia and celiac disease, which are often difficult-to-diagnose diseases among children. This is possible thanks to Spanish startup The Smart Lollipop, which has developed this candy-shaped device that is capable of detecting diseases by analyzing saliva using a biosensor and an optical reader. Diana Ballart started this project in 2017 by participating in the Dream BIG iFest, an innovation and entrepreneurship competition. Smart Lollipop won out of more than 300 teams and 7,000 participants. At that time, she and three other colleagues from her master’s degree, in Innovation and Business Development at UdG, formed a team «and we had to solve a health challenge by following the methodology of design thinking, born in Silicon Valley. We had to look for a way to prevent diseases in tropical countries, and hardly having any experience in the health sector, we came up with an idea, ”recalls the young entrepreneur. The proposal was to detect diseases through saliva using a device like candy. The prize for the competition consisted of An acceleration program in several cities allowed them to create their 3D prototype.But then his colleagues chose to pursue different career paths, and Ballart looked for new partners to pursue the idea.Lorena Toda-Lorette joined as Director of Commercial Strategy, with extensive experience in medical devices, and Roger García Puig, Medical Director.”They both have over 25 years of experience in the sector and that was very important. We started working together and understanding each other, it was the perfect combination of a good idea and a lot of experience,” recalls the CEO. They started prototyping and collaborating with techs to do research and in 2020 an SL was created, titled Happy Innova. That’s how it arrived. They have their first public subsidies of almost 250,000 euros and have raised another 320,000 in a funding round. In addition, they have a loan of 210,000 euros from the ENISA Mujeres Digitales credit line. «All this allows us to be more flexible and choose more places we go We have managed, for example, to set up the office, the private laboratory and the prototyping room in Girona, ”Ballart highlights. The team already consists of seven people plus external staff. Related News This Test Detects Alzheimer’s Disease 3 Years Before an RI Diagnosis. The study, published in the journal Brain, supports the idea that components of human blood can modulate the formation of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis. Last year, they were one of the eight finalists of the eight eAwards Spain awards organized by the NTT Data Foundation, which It gave them more exposure. Although the first idea was to treat diseases in underdeveloped countries, “it was not feasible as a business, though we would love it in the future” and that is why they changed the project. They note that the blood test is highly invasive and avoided for children. On the other hand, there are asymptomatic diseases and for their diagnosis you need the aforementioned analysis. That’s why they’re starting to focus on diagnosing hypercholesterolemia and celiac disease, “which are not done in pediatrics because they need blood tests.” As the co-founder and CEO explains, “We want to provide a very easy diagnostic method and see how we can have a positive impact on society.” This biosensor reduces the time between drawing blood and reporting results, which is why Barart is confident it will relieve the health system. To go up this year, they’ll be conducting clinical trials with the goal of bringing it to market at the end of 2024 or 2025, which date will depend on regulatory deadlines. The project’s scalability lies in developing different biosensors for diagnostics that we can perform by analyzing saliva, Ballart notes. In addition to this first pediatric use, “in adults we saw that there was an unmet need and with this pacifier, the patient has the autonomy to decide when to take the test,” he adds. More information Leprosy is on the rise in Spain: these are the communities where there are the most cases Bee vaccines: the revolution is being tested in Guadalajara The release will be first in hospitals and then in pharmacies. “The person buys a lollipop and takes it there. Three minutes later, the wand is placed in a reader to digitize the response. In the future we will work towards disease prediction,” Balart advances. He guarantees that the price will be affordable, and that the reception of his device in the medical community is very positive.” They are the ones asking us to work on other diagnoses.” There are many flavors and at the moment strawberry is the children’s favourite.

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