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Easier TB diagnosis
Easier TB diagnosis
Dr. Christopher Rumball, Kelly Karns, Mathieu Michalet and Milena Lazarevska
Team name: AutoTB

School: University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Team members: Kelly Karns, Christopher Rumball, Adnan Iqbal, Milena Lazarevska, Mathieu Michalet

Concept: The founders of AutoTB have created a device that automates the analysis of sputum for tuberculosis diagnosis. They hope to put it to use in developing countries, where the disease kills two million people annually, according to the World Health Organization.

AutoTB plans to market its product primarily through refugee camps and medical centers operated by non-governmental organizations and government health authorities. The device, expected to retail for around $1,100 per unit, is designed to withstand high humidity, variable temperatures and dusty conditions, and can render a diagnosis off a single sample.

AutoTB's CEO has degrees in biomedical and mechanical engineering and experience with both medical device design and bacterial-detection software development. Other executives have backgrounds in medicine and healthcare in developing countries - as well as contacts with non-governmental organizations.

Timeline: The AutoTB timeline calls for product development, patent filing, nine months of clinical trials and a product launch within three years. - Kathleen Ryan O'Connor

NEXT: A novel treatment for a damaged heart

Last updated May 02 2008: 11:51 AM ET