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Biolumo: Proffering Reliable and Reasonable Fast Point-of-Care Diagnostic Machine

Olga Grudniak | Biolumo | Insights Care

Biolumo is involved in developing solutions for General Practitioners to quickly determine the best antibiotics for every patient. It combines software, hardware, and biotechnology to deliver an affordable solution for healthcare and effectively provide antibiogram test results. Today, gold standard takes a minimum of 48 hours to deliver the aforementioned result. It is really tough to wait for such a long time to start the treatment.

Biolumo has managed to automate the process of testing using its device, analytics software, and a special mixture of nutrition broads. What differentiates Biolumo from its competitors is its steadfast aim to solve the real problems prevailing in the healthcare sector rather than developing marvelous technologies no one could afford. The bottom line is, even though 74% of antibiotics are prescribed by General Practitioners, every solution that may help them prescribe proper antibiotics is designed for big hospitals or laboratories.

Trailblazers of Biolumo

The idea behind shaping Biolumo is a practical problem its business partner faced—his one-year-old son got a bacterial infection. He wanted a quick way to determine whether the prescribed antibiotic is working or not.

Marcin Pitek, CSO of Biolumo, came up with the idea and together with the CEO, Olga Grudniak, a biotechnologist and life science project manager, incorporated the company. The team is complemented by business experts, Wojciech Giżowski, CTO and Jakub Wysocki, CMO.

Wojciech says, “It is our first medical device project. We need not only to develop the product but also learn all there is about regulations and certification. A different situation in every European market regarding healthcare and hence building many business models also did not help. Thankfully we are supported by many mentors and advisors, including Startupbootcamp Digital Health accelerator partners”.

Targeted Therapy-a Boon

The benefits from targeted therapy over generic broad-spectrum antibiotics are handful, starting with breaking the rising problem of antibiotics resistance. According to ECDC, number one and two reasons for the problem are wrongful prescriptions and overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics. That alone should be a reason enough given that by 2050 antibiotics resistance is estimated to claim over 10 million lives annually according to the UK government reports. Moreover, healthcare is losing a lot of money from the problem, either on reimbursing antibiotics for patients or readmissions when they do not work on treating the side effects. The fast testing enables patients with bacterial infection to be treated with targeted antibiotics therapy the same day they visit the practitioner’s office.

Reliable and Reasonable Product

Biolumo verifies every hypothesis with the end clients. “We are a group of scientists and business professionals and therefore we need to face our assumptions with doctors and clinic owners. We have no room to let things slide when it comes to the treatment of human being, everything must be tested, certified, and agreed upon with the professionals that will be using our product”, asserts Jakub.

The second most important approach is to develop a mass applicable solution that can be accepted by both private and public healthcare. Numerous teams are working on different diagnostic solutions using high-tech like lasers or nano-printing. That makes the product price skyrocket and in turn became a gadget rather than a game-changer for healthcare. On the other hand, Biolumo’s device is really affordable and easier to use.

Accomplishments that Boost Confidence

Earlier the patients were not so close to information and their physicians. Novel technologies help to manage healthcare practice and scale it up to expectations of the patients. Strangely enough, marketing and mobile apps adopt the technology changes much faster than healthcare, where it can literally save lives. “Thankfully we are catching up, we are using technology to track medical data, communicate automatically with patients, and diagnose them”, says Olga.

Biolumo says that its business angel is developing a complementary device that can quickly determine the source of infection—bacterial or viral. The cooperation between Biolumo and his company, SensDx, adds value to both the projects.

The company has been listed on “Global Digital Health 100” list of companies with the biggest potential to change healthcare by The Journal of mHealth. It has been chosen to participate in Startupbootcamp Digital Health accelerator in Berlin, as one of the ten teams out of over 3,000 applicants, which is both great accomplishment and attribute to its amazing progress.

Biolumo testifies that its mentors and advisors greatly helped the company grow faster. “We would never be able to develop our device, including 1.5 years of bootstrapping, without their help”, asserts Wojciech.

Vision for the Future

Right now the company focuses on developing its device as fast as possible. The team plans to make it available for healthcare within two years but it still has clinical validation and certification on the way. It is also working on a more permanent solution for antibiotics resistance problem, including new generation drug. However, the most important vision the company works every day to make true is the possibility for every patient to make sure the drugs they are taking will actually treat the disease that troubles them.

According to Biolumo, the most important path the practice management industry should take is to focus on personalized treatment. That means developing personalized prosthetics, diagnose patients based on data tracked by health apps and wearable, and give precise drugs. “We have more data on patients than ever available through many channels and we already started to utilize on that front”, states Jakub.

Biolumo’s main goal is to give doctors a means to start targeted therapy as soon as possible to exclude any unnecessary use of antibiotics. That way doctor can quickly determine the right drug, the patient can start proper treatment earlier on and the healthcare sector saves money:  targeted therapy can save over 30% of costs of treating bacterial infections!

Tips to Excel

Biolumo suggests the new entrants find like-minded professionals open to new solutions. Depending on the environment it can be difficult, but before making the money or getting investors, there is no better way to challenge the idea than to confront it with the future users and clients. The team members add, “Remember that your solution will be on the market in one, two, or five years, so organize the project and evaluate its value accordingly. Timing is also a very important factor. We had started working on antibiotics resistance just before the UK government published the report on AMR—we have perfect timing for our solution. It may not matter from the usefulness point of view, but it makes fundraising and PR a lot less painful if your audience knows the problem is real. Also, if you are a doctor, scientist, or engineer, try to find a business-focused founder for your team—marketer or project manager—to help you develop business. There are a lot of business founders eager to join MedTech projects, just go out to startup event and start talking about your idea.”



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