June 17, 2015
A Bucks County company recently debuted a first-of-its-kind mobile testing laboratory designed for disease control, Newsworks reports.
FlowMetric, a Doylestown-based company, unveiled its Mo-POD this week during the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia. The Mo-POD's advanced equipment can detect threats that include Ebola, tuberculosis and malaria.
Immediate testing onsite means samples would no longer have to travel back to urban areas for analysis. The company's proprietary "flow cytometry" testing process minimizes the amount of blood necessary and cuts down the time waiting for results, in many cases, to hours rather than days.
"And once dropped, it is self-sustainable. It is completely solar-powered. All of the lab equipment in it, all of the communication systems, refrigeration..." company founder Renold Capocasale told Newsworks. "There is nothing like it in the world. This solves the immediacy problem. That blood, literally, will be analyzed almost instantaneously after it's been drawn."
The unit stays connected through satellite communication systems, regardless of its location around the world. It can easily be transferred into remote regions by parachute or delivered in the back of a truck.
"We can take that data in real time and send it to the National Institutes of Health or the CDC, allowing them to keep track of these diseases as they grow or spread through different countries," Robert Hilliard, the Mo-POD's chief designer, told Newsworks. "You'll be able to drop this in, and within five or six minutes, be a full live lab."