Former NCIIA E-Team PneumoniaCheck, from Georgia Institute of Technology, has launched a startup, MD Innovate, Inc., to commercialize their pneumonia diagnostic device.
In 2008, NCIIA awarded an E-Team grant to the team to help develop PneumoniaCheck, a new sampling device that could prevent thousands of people worldwide from dying of pneumonia each year. The team exhibited the device at NCIIA's March Madness for the Mind showcase in 2009.
Although pneumonia is a common disease that affects 1.4 million Americans annually, diagnosing its cause can still be difficult. Pneumonia can be caused by a large variety of viral and bacterial pathogens, and traditional pneumonia diagnostic methods are limited, primarily because they cannot reliably collect a high quality specimen from the lower respiratory tract, where the disease originates.
In order to improve pneumonia diagnosis, this E-Team has developed the PneumoniaCheck, a handheld, tubular device that consistently obtains samples from the lower respiratory tract by separating the air as the patient exhales/coughs. Using fluid mechanics, the anatomic dead space volume can be separated from the alveolar (lower lung) breath, where the pathogens reside. This makes for an effective and inexpensive separation device that does not use electronics, a power source, or machined flow-valves.
In Feb 2011, the GIT team launched a new startup, MD Innovate Inc., to commercialize PneumoniaCheck.