Rea develops a medical device to allow home monitoring of women at risk of preterm birth. The technology can be used to identify and quantify biomarkers present in vaginal fluid to determine the risk of a preterm birth. Such a device is essentially composed of three components: a microfluidic system, a biosensing unit, and a readout system.
The product is a smart pad with an embedded sensor for proteins indicative of birth. It is based on immunoassay onsite testing coupled with a phone app to display the test's results. The founders are Dr Erick Garcia Cordero and MSc Loulia Kassem. The company is a spin-off of EPFL. Rea has followed the Innosuisse “Training programme” and is currently in the “Initial Coaching” process. Loulia Kassem explains the project in detail:
“When I met Dr Erick Garcia Cordero in the laboratory at EPFL in 2018, it soon became obvious that we wanted to work together. Erick had already devised a bandage for women that would identify diseases, and I had also been conducting research into women’s health for some time.
With the help of Prof. Carlotta Guiducci, Head of CLSE – Laboratory of Life Sciences Electronics, and David Baud, Head of the Obstetrics department at Lausanne University Hospital, we are developing a smart bandage for pregnant women at risk of premature birth. These women have to undergo extensive examinations and are often kept in hospital for weeks for monitoring. In future, they will be able to wear the bandage briefly once a week at home. The Smart Pad collects the vaginal secretion which is then analysed by the micro-sensor system. The data is transferred to the gynaecologist via an app on the smartphone. We have developed a prototype that is now being refined in the laboratory. The aim is to test it on pregnant women in 2020.
When we were founding our start-up, I attended the Business Creation course – which was fantastic. I had previously founded a pharmaceutical company in Syria, my native country, so I already had experience of running a company. I still learned a huge amount on the course though: the topics were well chosen, and there was a good selection of experts who highlighted potential stumbling blocks. I also benefited from the other course participants, especially since not everyone was at the same stage. I’m still in touch with some of them today.”
Last modification 15.06.2020