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Interview, Testimonial

On demand diagnostics – building a global business combining Blood with Photonics

Mar 1, 2016 1:16:00 PM. By: Hilde de Vocht

High Tech Campus Eindhoven is always looking at ways to build upon its established reputation as a world-class ecosystem for high tech hardware. In just a few years, the number of residents on the Campus has grown from 125 to the current tally of 144. They range from large enterprises with thousands of employees to young companies with a small team working on solving a grand challenge.

Mit Patel is the perfect example of an entrepreneur at the early stage of turning a vision into a real business. Originally from India, Mit studied in France before scouting the tech clusters in Tokyo, Montreal and Silicon Valley as a location to build his company. So what brings him to Eindhoven?

The global challenges that we can solve

“I’m driven by the fact that 4 billion people on this planet are deprived of proper health care, simply because they live too far from a clinic. That means that they are never tested and preventable illnesses have free reign. My team is working on devices that can be used by staff in the field without the need for medical training. A few drops of blood is sufficient for the wireless connected device to come up with a reliable analysis."

“We have several practical cases where our high-tech expertise is relevant. In many Western societies, for instance, we’re seeing the rise of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) often called the “silent” liver disease. It resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. Most people with NASH feel fine and are unaware that they have a problem until the liver is permanently damaged sometimes to a point where it no longer functions.”

“Liver diseases affects up to around 500 million people in the world. The recent increase in NASH thought to be linked to diabetes and high blood cholesterol, especially in children. We know there are key biomarkers in the blood which flag this condition. Within the next two years, the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve new drugs to treat this condition. But they are going to need smart biomedical devices to monitor the diagnosis. That’s why Bloonics has a window of opportunity to address a real market need. We intend to be ready.”

The name Bloonics is a reference to the blood and photonics, which is a clue as to how the device works. “We’re operating under the radar at the moment. The High Tech Campus soft-landing program has been very useful in connecting us with international patent specialists, as well as providing introductions to companies that can supply the technology and accelerate our time to market. We now have a clearer strategy on how to move forward.”

Bloonics Mit Patel High Tech Campus Eindhoven

We’re a platform rather than a single device

“Think of our technology as a platform rather than just a single device. Because we see a similar need for our expertise in a completely different field.”

“For example, several US States and Canada have legalized the use and growth of marijuana. There are also strict laws about driving under the influence of the drug. But the current devices in the hands of law-enforcement agencies are woefully inaccurate, leading to many false arrests for being “Drunk Under Influence”. Bloonics has the accurate blood-based detection technology that provides results in real-time, with better reliability than other technology available. California is expected to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in November 2016. The state with the world’s 8th largest economy expects to raise more than US$ 1 billion a year in taxes, assuming the proposals go ahead. By that time, we plan to have THC (Tetrahydrocannabinols) measurement devices in the hands of US law-enforcement agencies.”

Scaling up on The Strip

From an office in The Strip at HTCE, Patel is hard at work assembling his team and scaling his business. “I have already made the decision to move our business from Canada to Eindhoven. The Dutch government is now offering attractive incentives to high-tech startups. And the total cost of establishing a high-tech business is a fraction of what it costs in London or Silicon Valley. But there were three crucial factors that encouraged me to explore the possibilities in Eindhoven. We need access to relevant expertise, top engineering talent and independent advice. I have not been disappointed. Everything seems to be in place to allow us to scale-up fast.”

Mit Patel can be contacted via mit@bloonics.com.

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Hilde de Vocht
Hilde de Vocht

Marketing Manager High Tech Campus Eindhoven
hilde.de.vocht@hightechcampus.com

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