August 24, 2017 | At the Next Generation Dx Summit* last week, over 100 exhibitors and sponsors shared new technologies, research updates, and their visions for the future of diagnostics. Diagnostics World published a roundup of new products during the event, but we also toured the expo floor, talking with speakers and tech experts, gathering more perspective for what’s need next in diagnostics.
Quanterix has twice won the Head Health Challenge sponsored by GE and the National Football League. Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO at Quanterix, gave the NFL much credit for its work unwriting research on better diagnosing concussion in sports. Quanterix’s Simoa technology can quickly identify proteins in blood that indicate brain injury, Hrusovsky said. It’s amplification-free detection; there’s no need for PCR. But the applications are much broader than just on the football field. Hrusovsky said the company is working on other neurology applications—identifying Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia much earlier. There are also oncology and cardiology applications.
Quanterix debuted its new, desktop Simoa platform at the event—the SR-Plex Ultra-Sensitive Biomarker Detection System—making it even easier for the technology to be used in a variety of settings. While the NFL has committed significant resources to curbing concussions in its players, Hrusovsky is even more worried about younger players. The NFL has neurologists watching every play, he told Diagnostics World. But in college and high school, the players don’t have that kind of oversight. Hrusovsky believes that high school football players die from second-impact syndrome. A player takes a hard hit, but can pass verbal and physical tests for concussion on the sidelines. He’s sent back into the game and a second hit—sometimes a seemingly light impact—causes sudden death. Hrusovsky hopes that better testing will help coaches and doctors know when it’s safe for a player to return to the field.
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