Among the qualities of entrepreneurs is the unrelenting belief that their idea will make a difference. They also and the dedication to pitch that idea until an investor or pharmaceutical company or manufacturer says yes.
Cue Jonathan Michael, an entrepreneur who is a trained paramedic who, along with Sixth Sense co–founder Francis Xavier, has cystic fibrosis. Together they’ve developed a mobile app to help assess lung function.
Michael talked at the Converge conference this week about how its technology has been received by pharmaceutical companies. He said it’s received some encouraging feedback from pharmaceutical companies. Although they seem to like the concept, it’s been evaluating ways to bring down the price. And that;s just as well because the goal is to make it affordable to people whether they have insurance or not.
Among the things a spirometry test assesses is lung capacity by measuring the volume of air that can be forcibly blown out in one second. It’s designed to help people who might find it tough to access one of the 110 cystic fibrosis testing centers in the U.S. The device would help patients test themselves from home on a regular basis. The data could be transmitted to helping them track their condition.
Cystic fibrosis patients are particularly vulnerable to lung infections. One of the benefits of using an app to collect data on lung function tests from home is that any deviations from the norm could be picked up by a medical professional, prompting a call for an in person appointment to confirm early signs of infection and prescribe treatment if needed.
The founders make the argument that the cystic fibrosis community, an estimated 30,000 people, is under-served when it comes to digital testing and monitoring devices.
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