At Detekt we work closely with our clients to ensure a successful product launch. Our handheld and desktop lateral flow imaging system products are used across the world by leading companies for Food Safety Testing, Biothreat Detection, Environmental Monitoring, and Aesthetic Medicine. We offer technical support and warranty coverage for all of our products.
Detekt Biomedical Damon Borich; CEO
Austin,TX-based Detekt Biomedical is a developer of handheld testing devices and lateral flow readers and biochip detection systems for numerous diagnostic arenas.
What is Detekt's mission?
Detekt, about 8 years ago, was a start-up trying to raise money in the traditional venture capital way and, in doing so, had the opportunity to engage some of its customers early on, and in fact, received a lot of initial funding directly from its customers. So we were able to skip the seed funding rounds. In essence, Detekt has a technology platform that improves the chemistry and biochemistry assays that individuals already use. Our customers have an existing product, usually an established lateral flow assay, and we license our lateral flow reader technology to them. Our products don’t replace what they already have, they enhance and improve it, and it is customized to their particular application.
What work do you intend to do with handheld medical devices?
If you look at the medical diagnostics arena, it's filled with devices that perform one or two diagnostic functions, so in order to conduct several unique tests, one has to use four or five different instruments. What we've done instead is developed a very adaptable optical reader instrument that can be retooled and reprogrammed in the field to read and analyze a variety of different diagnostic tests or lateral flow assays. One of these products is based upon a customized PDA. We use a ruggedized PDA and then customize it with our hardware and software to create a handheld instrument, which can be used for a variety of detection purposes. The detection is generally for chemicals, biochemicals, fluid and blood-born analytes on a biochip or lateral flow strip.
What about home use?
The market we see as being the largest is the home testing market, in particular leveraging smart phones for personal diagnostics. However, that requires the most integrated technology solution and the most funding, so right now we focus on industries with established lateral flow and biochip assays. For example we have products used worldwide in the Food and Beverage testing arena, testing imported foods for contamination and products used by Hazmat teams and global military teams to assess biothreats.
What are some advantages your technology has over other diagnostics? What hurdles are you facing?
One thing that makes our lateral flow reader platform unique is that we work in a collaborative fashion with our partners in order to create a product. We create the proprietary imaging algorithms, hardware and software, and then we find the leaders in a specific diagnostic area and mate with and improve their existing technologies. From that standpoint, one of our hurdles to the growth of the business is finding partners that would like to integrate their technology and enhance their existing lateral flow or immunoassay product line. Additionally, we are always looking for in-licensing opportunities for unique lateral flow technologies and assays.
What are some directions you feel the medical device industry is taking, and more specifically diagnostics?
In general, miniaturization is driving the market. Technologies as commonplace and simple as blood glucose meters can really expand when they make a blood glucose meter the size of a quarter…and it connects to your smart phone. And that echoes another trend in medical diagnostics, which is the minimally invasive diagnostics arena. So in the medical arena we're going to see more wireless applications and more transdermal applications, more applications that give us serological data but are not based on a needle stick. Technologies we've been talking about for ten years are now actually starting to come to fruition due to some leaps made in core research and manufacturing.
And Detekt is moving that way as well?
One of the things we see is a move away from product line that solely serve one purpose and a shift towards a more modular software design architecture. These modules can be integrated into a variety of different products and so Detekt is able to capture these markets in that we provide the digital infrastructure upon which other sensors can be added. Most of our handheld and stand-alone systems can have a wide variety of other digital and analog sensors added to them such as RFID, air monitoring, soil testing etc. Additionally, all of our customers have the ability to fully customize their software- changing, updating and branding the way the customer interacts with their product.
Detekt is located in Austin, Texas. What is the atmosphere in the life science and medical device industries there?
If you look at diagnostic field, the Northeast and California have been leaders in that area. But, as we move into this new technology area more of the devices are relying upon semiconductor fabrication techniques and are software driven. So, if you take a look at that and look at Austin's infrastructure with Applied Materials, Dell, Motorola and a variety of other start-up and mid-stage companies in the software and digital infrastructure areas, Austin is really primed to take advantage of these resources.
What is your background?
I am an Austin native and a physician and trained at a trauma hospital where I was able to use and observe medical diagnostics and devices on a daily basis. I have also served as Chief Medical Officer and CEO at two venture-backed companies that were focused on point-of-care diagnostics and aesthetics medicine diagnostics.