BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's at remote locations in under-developed areas or the neighborhood clinic, more effective disease screening technology will improve the delivery, effectiveness, costs and results of health care at all levels.
American medical device maker Ancon Medical Inc. has developed a revolutionary new breath screening technology that makes it possible to easily find the indicators for deadly and dangerous diseases at their earliest stages. The potential benefits of the Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) technology are far ranging, from conducting mass screenings for Ebola and Tuberculosis at remote facilities to simply testing for Lung Cancer and other diseases at local healthcare facilities.
With its NBT technology, Ancon Medical can give healthcare providers a versatile disease screening device that delivers a wide range of features, including unmatched sensitivity, portability, and ease of use and fast results. Most importantly, because NBT works by scanning breath, this simple, non-invasive procedure makes the technology accessible to much wider range of the population.
"No matter what the disease, an early diagnosis will always give medical professionals the advantage of a head start in treatment, isolation and prevention. The difference can be measured in better treatment, lower cost and most importantly, saved lives," said Wesley Baker, Ancon Medical president. "With NBT, Ancon Medical can give doctors, healthcare providers, aid workers and even volunteers the head start they need to start life-saving treatment."
NBT works by detecting biomarkers in exhaled breath, and it's able to find these DNA-protein controlled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in lower concentrations than any similar breath screening technology. Tests at the U.K.'s Boulby Underground Laboratory showed that NBT technology can measure down to one ion in 10,000 cubic centimeters, giving it the unprecedented sensitivity to find a single biomarker molecule.
Biomarkers act as the chemical "signature" for diseases and already researchers have discovered them for more than 400 diseases, including butylated hydroxytoluene, which indicates the presence of lung cancer.
Lung cancer has a low survival rate, but technology like Ancon Medical's NBT device has great potential to improve treatment for this disease, which currently requires an expensive and invasive CT scan to make a diagnosis. But with NBT technology, the lung cancer biomarker could be discovered at a much earlier point, and the test can be applied to a much wider population of at-risk individuals.
"Studies show that 57 percent of patients can survive longer than five years if Lung Cancer treatment is begun early. Otherwise, the survival rate is only nine percent," Baker said. "But NBT can find the biomarker early enough to begin treatment, making lung cancer a prime example of the enormous potential health benefits of the technology we've developed at Ancon Medical."
NBT has potential to be a powerful screening tool for other diseases, especially infectious diseases that can rapidly spread through underdeveloped countries. For Ebola, NBT is sensitive enough to detect the virus within 24 to 72 hours of exposure, before an infected individual is showing signs of the disease.
NBT can already detect TB in a laboratory environment, which is one of the world's leading causes of death, primarily because diagnosis generally requires a blood test and chest x-rays, making it often go undetected until too late.
"Ancon Medical's NBT device can change the story on TB, Ebola and host of diseases that unnecessarily inflict misery on the poor," Baker said. "With funding, research, and commercialization we can give healthcare workers the tools to fight these terrible diseases."
NBT uses a process similar, but not identical, to ultrafast gas chromatography, a technology that is currently only available in a laboratory. But an NBT device breath test could be administered by a non-medical personnel with minimal training, allowing this technology to be used in a wide range of locations and situations.
With further development, an NBT technology device could be available for a cost as low as $29,000, making it an affordable option for a countless number of healthcare and emergency response scenarios. Plus, with cloud connectivity, a NBT device could be reprogrammed at a moment's notice at the point-of-care facility to screen for new diseases.
Ancon Medical has patents on NBT technology in both the U.S. and U.K. Ancon Medical is a member of LifeScience Alley, a biomedical trade association based in Minnesota.
SOURCE Ancon Medical