Blue box would let patients collect blood samples at home and ship to the lab

HemaSpot2Veterans may soon have a blue box to go along with the Blue Button. A Texas entrepreneur is working on a product that erases the need to visit the doctor’s office to give a blood sample and to keep it cold once it is taken.

HemaSpot is a plastic, blue, matchbook-size box. Inside is a flower with eight petals made of the same absorbent paper used to collect blood from a newborn’s heel. A person pricks a finger with a lancet and drops the blood in the center of the kit. The flower is set in a ring of desiccant, which dries out the sample. The person the drops the sample in the mail to a lab. Each petal can be removed and analyzed separately.

Dr. Jeannette Hill“The filter paper form allows the blood to spread out evenly and the blue box keeps it dark,” founder Dr. Jeannette Hill said. “There is no chance of contamination.”

Spot on Sciences got initial funding from DARPA and $1.15 million from phase I and phase II SBIR grants. Hill said she will raise more money when she is ready to scale up the business.

Hill has a PhD in bioorganic chemistry. She founded the company in 2010 after working in the pharmaceutical industry in drug development and metabolism. Her mother lives in rural Missouri and often had to make a trip to a clinic to give blood. Hill developed HemaSpot to let her mother track her health from home.

Hill said that when she started talking to other potential customers, the biggest interest came from health workers in Africa.
“The kit is being used all over Africa for HIV testing and for diabetes testing in Scotland,” she said.
The kit would also make recruiting patients for clinical trials easier because patients would not need to be near the trial site to give blood samples.

Hill said that she is also working a drug researchers studying the effectiveness of heart medications. A recent study showed that patients who took a heart medication at night – as opposed to in the morning – had better blood pressure control and were much less likely to have a heart attack.
“To follow up on study, they are taking blood samples over a 24 hour period trying to figure out what is going on,” Hill said. “HemaSpot can help with that.”

The plastic pieces of the kit are made in America and the final assembly is done by the company. There is also a QR code on the back of each kit. A patient can scan the code after taking a sample to give it a time, date, and GPS stamp on the sample. Hill said that the Hema Scan app allows the lab to send the results to the patient and the doctor.

Spot on Science is planning to go through the Class 2 510K process and apply for a CE mark as well.

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