An Italian start-up is working on the first fully automated system for monitoring, sanitizing and packaging of containers filled with biological samples to improve both the safety and efficiency of processes in the pre- and packaging workflowanalytical of laboratory medicine. The innovation allows to maintain an optimal temperature for the container at every stage of transport. The device has a TRL between 4 and 5. Commercial agreements with technical assistance and financial agreements.
The Italian start-up company’s core team boasts the competences of top researchers, with past successful entrepreneurship experiences (start-ups and academic spin-offs) on the medical device topic, covering the three pillars of the project: fluid dynamics, robotics and clinical pathology. If we take into consideration the pre-analytical phase of the laboratory medicine, the poor controllability of the process quality level, the biological risk for healthcare operators and the issues concerning the tracking and transport phases (mostly linked to procedures still carried out manually) represent the main sources of risk affecting the quality of the laboratory. Hence, the need for an automatic approach aiming at increasing both safety and process efficiency, starting from the sampling points. Thus, the Italian start-up company is working on the first fully automated system for the tracking, sanitization and packaging of containers filled with biological samples, aiming at targeting both these objectives. Both the device and its process are protected by an Italian and an international patent application, on which the company received a positive research report at the beginning of 2022. The product helps to reduce the biological risk for healthcare operators, by stopping its propagation at the very beginning; first supporting optimal transport temperature conditions; second, increasing the pre-analytical process efficiency by replacing typical manual operations and resulting in a lower error rate. Looking at the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the product acts on both objectives 3 and 9. On the one hand, by providing a higher quality of the laboratory, leading to a better health service. On the other hand, by increasing the process efficiency of the pre-analytical phase and empowering the biological samples logistics, with the benefits of the overall laboratory infrastructure. In particular, the device operates in the pre-analytical area of a generic sampling point (SPOKE) where all samples are stored and pre-processed before being sent to the main laboratory (HUB). When the samples arrive to the Hub, they are loaded inside the device that tracks and sorts them by transport temperature type and destination. Once all samples have been pre-processed, at the end of the day, they are sanitized and packed to obtain a sterile and sealed output container, marked with a dedicated QR code, ready for the transport phase. The collaboration types envisaged by the company are the followings: - Commercial Agreement with Technical Assistance for early adopters of the technology who can provide feedback concerning a more detailed price policy, the target price of the device and the potential ROI (Return of Investment) for the typical end-user. Other partners can be big companies operating in the pre-analytical sector or in the laboratory medicine sector. They will receive technical assistance for implementing the technology. - Financial Agreement with commitment with Institutional Investors interested in investing in the technology (second phase of investment expected by the beginning of 2024). Currently the company has received a first pre-seed investment for the realization, in one year, of the complete Proof of Concept device.
Advantages and innovations
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- The advantages the company can offer to potential partners are:
- the academic research background of the team in robotics, fluid dynamics and laboratory medicine.
- the use of the technology and/or of the product to solve needs related to the sanitization and the logistics of containers for biological samples.
- the ability to scale up quite easily when a tested and certified product will be realized.
- the possibility of a long-term partnership.
- Regarding innovation, at present the pre-analytical phase of the laboratory medicine represents the main sources of risks affecting the quality of laboratories. Hence, the need for an automated approach aiming at increasing both safety and process efficiency. The Italian start-up company is aiming at targeting both these objectives, working on the first fully automated system for the tracking, sanitization and packaging of containers filled with biological samples
: NEXT EEN Widgets (europa.eu)
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