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R&D safe & convenient home based blood cell counting system for the improved response to chronic dis

Updated: Jul 21, 2023


This application is focused on providing chronically ill patients with a highly convenient and easy way to self monitor the number of white blood cells in their blood during their illness. White blood cells are a vital part of our immune systems and serve as the primary defence against infections in the body by destroying

bacteria, bacterial fragments and viruses in the blood. Low levels of white blood cells in the blood, a condition called neutropenia, is a key indicator that the patient is unwell and a major part of managing conditions such as cancers. At present white blood cell counts are only possible if the patient visits a clinical facility so that a blood sample can be taken from the arm and then tested in formal laboratory facilities. All immunosuppressed patients need to have this test done frequently to enable them to manage their condition and treatment. Consequently, patients with long term conditions are having to disrupt their day, travel considerable distances, consuming the healthcare system's time in collection of samples and resources to perform these routine blood tests in laboratories. The applicants presenting this application, demonstrated it is possible to integrate new technologies into a simple hand held device that is intelligent enough to count their white blood cells when at home or any convenient location. The applicants have conducted scientific resea

rch on combining low-cost lasers and computer intelligence (artificial intelligence) such that a computer can automatically "watch and count" the amount of while blood cells in a patient's blood sample. This research has given the team confidence that the method works and can be the basis of a reliable blood count test. The team's goal now is to research and develop a handheld version of this cell counter, fluid handling system and software such that any user, regardless of their skill level, can obtain a white blood cell count in any setting. The project will focus on the engineering and design work needed to produce the miniaturised system. The team will then use this device to analyse a large collection of blood samples in order to train the algorithm to detect all types of blood cells. Ultimately the project will lead to testing and evaluation of the prototype miniature blood cell counter by a panel of patients and doctors (i.e. primary users of the device in the long term).

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