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New diagnostic device provides 20-minute blood test results

August 10, 2023

Vital Bio unveils novel device, raises US$48 million since inception at Velocity in 2019

Four and a half years ago, the VitalOne was an ambitious idea. Today, the desktop computer-sized blood diagnostics device can run comprehensive tests on comparatively small blood samples — in 20 minutes.

Made by Vital Bio, a company founded at Velocity, the VitalOne was unveiled to the public and scientific community at a conference held by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) last month, where Vital Bio also won the Disruptive Technology Award.

Co-founder and CEO Vasu Nadella states that developing the VitalOne to meet the gold standard in lab testing is part of the company’s broader vision to make diagnostics ubiquitous and enable new forms of care delivery for everyone from patients managing complex, chronic diseases to people pursuing wellness.

Nadella asserts that current diagnostic infrastructure often results in delayed test results, putting patients at risk.

“All of these folks have clear needs that are constrained by the way care is delivered today,” Nadella says. “By making [diagnostic tools] ubiquitous you get to a place where these foundational pillars of health care, diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately intervention and payment, shift into something that can be accessed on demand and that’s what we want to enable.”

Vital Bio co-founders (Left to Right) Farnoud Kazemzadeh, Iman Khodadad, Vasu Nadella, Mounir Koussa.

Mounir Koussa, co-founder and vice-president of research and development, says that the VitalOne is an easy-to-use system with three blood diagnostic modalities: hematology, clinical chemistry and immunoassay, including tests for hormones, vitamins, cancer and inflammation markers.

The device’s destination will include  doctors’ offices where patients can give a small blood sample, one-thirtieth of the volume needed for a typical test and receive results in 20 minutes. These tasks can be done before seeing the physician, enabling immediate health interventions. 

“The world and the [scientific] community are ready for this,” Koussa says. “We’ve [developed] it in a way where we’ve been open and transparent so people can gain trust — even in a space where the trust has been broken by others.”

Koussa and Nadella are two of Vital Bio’s four co-founders, including Iman Khodadad (PhD ‘16), vice-president of technology and Farnoud Kazemzadeh (PhD ‘15), vice-president of engineering.

Read more on Waterloo News.

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