Companies team up to develop world’s first handheld infrared device for COPD | Innovation

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A that could help thousands of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease () avoid being admitted to hospital is going into production ahead of clinical trials.

An agreement between medical diagnostics company Glyconics and developer of (IR) spectrometers Spectrolytic will see the working together to produce a device for COPD patients that is useable at home.

The device is designed to give early warnings of ‘acute events’ so patients can be given treatment before their condition gets worse.

IR spectrometry is a non-invasive technique for diagnosing a range of conditions such as COPD and diabetes. Currently though, IR technology is too large to be used outside of a hospital.

Glyconics, a Cambridge-based start-up has miniaturised IR technology, enabling a low-cost device to be developed that is suitable for healthcare professionals and their patients at home.

Through the agreement with Glyconics, Spectrolytic will produce what the companies are calling the world’s first handheld IR devices for COPD and other conditions.

Dr Niall Gallen, CTO at Glyconics, says: “Our technology has gained proof of concept and we are now accelerating the development of our device and platform. By entering an exclusive agreement with Spectrolytic we will be able to produce Glyconics devices for testing ready for major clinical trials next year.”

Carsten Giebeler, CEO of Spectrolytic, added: “Spectrolytic was founded with the aim of making spectroscopy solutions more widely available. Glyconics are recognised leaders in spectroscopy for medical areas; this expertise will enable us to produce a low cost device that can be used in the home.”

Professor Anoop Chauhan, director of Research & at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, says the initial application for COPD is exciting:

“At the moment, when patients an exacerbation, they become very breathless and very wheezy, and as a result they require increased levels of treatment. Some patients have crisis exacerbations and they end up in hospital. These attacks are preventable if treatment is given early but we currently have no technology able to predict them. It is this unmet need that Glyconics is addressing.”

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