SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Profusa, an empowered health company that is pioneering the next generation of personalized medicine, today announced in collaboration with RTI International and Duke University the award of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) award to develop an early identification system to detect disease outbreaks, biological attacks and pandemics up to three weeks earlier than current methods. The RTI DARPA SIGMA+ funded effort is based on evaluating monitoring platforms including Profusa's first-of-its-kind, minimally-invasive injectable biosensor technology, the Lumee™ Oxygen Platform, to measure tissue oxygen levels as a potential indicator of human response to infection or exposure.
Unlike current efforts, which among other methods track and predict outbreaks via public health network data of patients that seek medical care once already experiencing symptoms, this program will assess the ability to collect real-time physiological data including oxygen status through Profusa's injectable biosensor, and other measures to detect impending distress before symptoms are present.
"We believe that data collected by monitoring real-time changes in body chemistry will allow us to make an important shift towards preventative care and away from costly sick-care needed after a pandemic, like the flu, has taken hold," said Ben Hwang, Chairman and CEO of Profusa. "This could lead to advances like more effective vaccines and disease prevention plans that improve health outcomes and potentially reduce healthcare costs. We are honored to receive this DARPA grant and excited to work alongside our partners towards a healthcare ecosystem that is focused on true personalized care."
The data collected by this program will be used to develop new algorithms for the detection of respiratory infections using machine-learning techniques with the goal of optimizing predictive capabilities. The collaborative effort will monitor patients simultaneously, so the technology can provide real-time, geospatial information on the spread of an infectious disease in an urban environment, to derive more effective countermeasures and mitigation strategies.
The project is part of DARPA's SIGMA+ program in the Defense Sciences Office (DSO).
About Profusa Founded in San Francisco, Calif., Profusa is an empowered health company led by visionary scientific founders, an experienced management team and a world-class board of directors who share the long-term goal of improving health and well-being for patients worldwide. With its long-lasting, injectable and affordable biosensors and its intelligent data platform, Profusa aims to provide people with a personalized biochemical signature rooted in data that clinicians trust and rely upon. These data may allow people to act as an active and educated participant alongside their care team and understand how their choices and decisions impact health and well-being, day-in and day-out. For more, visit https://profusa.com.
About the Lumee™ Oxygen Platform Profusa's first clinical offering, the Lumee™ Oxygen Platform, which is CE marked for use in the European Union, is indicated for use in patients with potential acute and/or chronic changes in tissue oxygen levels who may benefit from monitoring. The sensors provide continuous and long-term monitoring of the oxygen in subcutaneous tissue. After a single injection, measurement thereafter are obtained non-invasively. In contrast to external pulse oximeters which measure oxygen bound to the hemoglobin in larger blood vessels, the Lumee™ platform measures dissolved oxygen at the tissue level in the fluid that bathes our cells.
About DARPA SIGMA + The DARPA SIGMA+ program aims to expand SIGMA's advance capability to detect illicit radioactive and nuclear materials by developing new sensors and networks that would alert authorities to chemical, biological, and explosives threats as well.
SIGMA+ calls for the development of highly sensitive detectors and advanced intelligence analytics to detect minute traces of various substances related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats. SIGMA+ will use a common network infrastructure and mobile sensing strategy, a concept that was proven effective in the SIGMA program. The SIGMA+ chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) detection network would be scalable to cover a major metropolitan city and its surrounding region.
Planned execution of SIGMA+ will occur in two phases. Phase 1 will focus on developing novel sensors for chemicals, explosives, and biological agents while Phase 2 will focus on network development, analytics and integration.
Disclaimer Funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.