Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) August 17, 2013
What is the most important healthcare device of the future? A smartphone, if it’s powered by a new technology developed by award-winning inventor Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz and the team at i-calQ, LLC. Pronounced ‘eye-calc’ as in ‘I Calculate,’ the company has just received international recognition by a panel of industry experts as one of 12 finalists in the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE , a global competition to advance innovative sensing technologies that capture meaningful data about a consumer’s health and surrounding environment.
Teams are competing for a prize purse that includes a $525,000 Grand Prize and up to five Distinguished Awards, each valued at $120,000. The winners will be the teams who demonstrate the highest merit in the areas of accuracy and consistency, demonstration quality, technical innovation, human factors, market opportunity, originality, and user experience. The final judging and awards ceremony will take place at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Silicon Valley on October 2.
How i-calQ is changing mHealth… for the better
i-calQ’s portability will change the face of public health, making it possible to provide critical diagnostic testing in third world countries, remote rural areas, and underdeveloped areas where poverty reduces access to doctors.
i-calQ performs essential diagnostic tests on a smartphone that are normally done in a medical laboratory. A drop of blood or saliva is collected and then analyzed using the smartphone’s camera lens. Unlike traditional lab tests, which often take days, the results of the i-calQ testing are available in minutes. Physicians and consumers can easily perform the tests, and when the test is complete, the results can be immediately added to the patient’s digital medical record via Internet.
Another groundbreaking aspect of the i-calQ technology is the inclusion of an expert diagnostic system. The i-calQ software analyzes the test results with medical decision support algorithms to interpret the results and recommend additional tests or treatment.
Diagnostic testing anywhere, anytime
“We’re so excited about being named a finalist in the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE,” says Pamela Turbeville, co-founder and CEO of i-calQ. “Some of the most innovative companies in the world are participating, all with the goal of delivering better, more affordable healthcare to consumers everywhere. The fact that our smartphone-based concept for essential diagnostic testing is recognized as one of the 12 best entries validates our work and increases our dedication to making i-calQ a universal tool for medical professionals and consumers.”
One of the first uses for the i-calQ technology will be point-of-care diagnosis and decision support for thyroid disease management. “Thyroid disease is very common,” explains Turbeville. “In the United States alone, more than 35 million people have a thyroid disorder. Blood tests for thyroid disease are one of the most frequently performed tests in a medical laboratory. Currently, the process of getting tested for thyroid disease involves traveling to a health care facility, having a tube of blood drawn, and then waiting days to learn the results. At most facilities, a thyroid blood test costs around $75 and requires up to 3 days to obtain the results.
“With i-calQ you can have the same thyroid test performed on a smartphone, using only a single drop of blood, and receive your test results in matter of minutes for less than $10,” says Turbeville. “And you can have those test results interpreted and receive treatment recommendations immediately, without waiting to see a specialist.”
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Founded in 1995, XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE conducts competitions in five Prize Groups: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. For more information, go to http://www.xprize.org.
During his medical fieldwork during the 2007 Ebola epidemic, Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz saw the urgent need for mobile diagnostic devices. He realized that smartphones were the future of medicine, and would eventually be the ideal medical tools for “comprehensive disease management.” He envisioned a smartphone that could perform quantitative, lab-quality testing, and then execute medical decision support algorithms to help interpret the test results. As a result of that insight, Dr. Ehrenkranz co-founded i-calQ in 2011 to develop smartphone technologies for integrated point-of-care testing and testing result analysis.
In 2013, i-calQ launched its first three diagnostic projects: 1) thyroid disease management based on point-of-care TSH measurement, 2) stress management based on salivary cortisol measurement, and 3) antenatal healthcare management using point-of-care HIV, syphilis, glucose, blood pressure, hemoglobin, and urinary albumin measurements.
Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz, CMO
Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz has been inventing diagnostic tests for over 30 years. He has invented a number of well-known diagnostic products, including home pregnancy tests, fever thermometers, hormone tests, and tests for drugs of abuse. His inventions have won awards from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, the University of Utah, and the American Thyroid Association. He has worked with Nobel laureates, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and he is on the faculty of two US medical schools. Dr. Ehrenkranz delivers lectures around the world on endocrinology and medical diagnostics, and is the Director of Endocrinology and Metabolism for one of the largest healthcare organizations in the western United States.
Pamela Turbeville, CEO
Prior to co-founding i-calQ, LLC, Pamela Turbeville was the CEO of Navistar Financial Corporation. She has, served on a number of boards including chairing the West Boca Medical Center Board and several non-profits, such as The Chicago Network, Illinois Women's Forum, Columbia College Chicago, the University of Denver Daniel's School, the Norton School at the University of Arizona and the U of A Foundation.