Alentic Microscience

Seeing More With Less

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Authors

Lena Fine

Lena Fine

George Radomsky

George Radomsky

Angelo Knowles

Angelo Knowles

Adam Bahloul

Adam Bahloul

School

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University

Professors

Kent Williams

Kent Williams

Sandi Stewart

Sandi Stewart

Global Goals

3. Good Health and Well-Being 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities

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Summary

Alentic Microscience, led by CEO Dr. Alan Fine PhD, VMD, has made it their mission to make microscopy faster, easier, and less invasive. With this mission as the company’s guiding principle, they developed a medical diagnostic technology that would make blood tests much cheaper and more available. This innovation ties well with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals three, (good health & well-being), nine (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), ten (reduced inequalities), and seventeen (partnerships for the goals).

Innovation

Alentic Microscience is developing a revolutionary new medical diagnostic technology, called the Prospector 1.0, an extremely efficient microscopy technology that focuses mainly on bloodwork. The Prospector 1.0 is roughly the size of a debit machine and could be described as a portable pocket-sized blood testing lab. The Prospector 1.0 is capable of performing diagnostics such as complete blood counts with 25 parameters and abnormal cell flags in under seven minutes from a single drop of blood, not to mention the size of the machine capable of such fast and easy microscopy.

Apart from being comfortably transportable, the Prospector 1.0 can be used by anyone who has read the easily digestible instruction manual which includes explanations for how to open the machine, prick a patient’s finger to extract a drop of blood, transfer the blood to the central well, close the machine, and select the desired tests to be run. After following these steps, collected test results are directly sent from the machine to the desired lab(s) for analysis. If the device is out of range of service, results can be archived until the Prospector 1.0 is within range of service.

The Prospector 1.0 has a lengthy battery life between charges which, along with its convenient size, makes the device easily attainable and transportable for people to use where blood work labs aren’t accessible, such as third world countries or outer space. In space, the where the Prospector 1.0 has already been in use for some time now. Due to its easy-to-use and transportable nature, Alentic’s Prospector 1.0 aims to change healthcare globally, making it more convenient and accessible.

Seeing More With Less

Dr. Alan Fine VMD, PhD

Inspiration

As a professor at Dalhousie, Dr. Fine used expensive microscopes to conduct studies and or experiments. Consequently, he wanted to find a new way of doing microscopy that was less invasive and was able to obtain faster results. Dr. Fine wanted to develop a device that would be readily available for those that did not have easy access to blood testing, which typically has a longer turnover time.

The development of the Alentic’s Prospector 1.0 began operations in 2010. However, Dr. Fine rapidly determined that the concept underlying the Prospector would work. As a result, he compiled a team of certified chemists, engineers and critical technologists that aided in the creation of the Prospector. Although the device is not yet available for market use, Dr. Fine alongside his team continues to dedicate countless hours in the lab as they continue to modify and test the device to ensure accuracy and successful results.

As prospective contributors to the Canadian Healthcare industry, Dr. Fine and his team believed that they could be useful to people and improve efficiency within the industry. Because of this, there was an innate responsibility to do something about accessibility for testing. As aforementioned, the major driving force for this innovation was the accessibility of blood testing where Dr. Fine believes that he can reduce inequalities for patients that can not afford similar tests like the prospector that are available on the market.

Overall impact

This innovation has potential for a large market. Reducing the need for phlebotomists, the Prospector 1.0’s speed, simplicity, security, and portability provides a device anyone can use. This positive impact influences a business, societal, and economical level for both the short term and the long term.

The next steps highlight average person use, reducing wait times and increasing result times. Already popular on the international space station, the device already has and will hopefully continue to prove to be successful with other investors. Not only this, the device will be used to serve as an agent in the medical industry and will be accessible to the general public. Improving many lives, the Prospector 1.0 will become convenient and accessible to thousands of Canadians that need quick blood tests. Those working in disaster relief will be able to quickly test affected victims if needed. Furthermore, the Prospector 1.0 will become available to third world countries to further spread quality healthcare. There is great potential in this device and its technology that will ultimately ensure better health for many as the device can possibly save lives.

Business benefit

Apart from the impact this innovation will have on society, it will also help the business achieve one of their main goals, which is to generate great profits and revenues. With this product being a refined, yet cheaper adaptation of existing technology, Alentic Microscience should have no problems finding an abundance of buyers to generate a steady stream of income, which would also help them pay off the loans they had accumulated to develop this product.

The Company’s efforts have already proved fruitful as they had been chosen by the Canadian Space Agency to put their diagnostic technology on the international space station, and have also been given grants to continue their work. This is one of many current investors that the company has and hopes to gain more as a source of funding for the Prospector, as well as future innovations.

Finally, due to the difficulty of this work, the company required experts to drive this work and have been able to provide employment and further experience to experts in a range of fields such as Chemistry, Computer Programming, Mechanical, Electrical and Software Engineering, totalling up to around 20 employees of diverse backgrounds.

With reference to the SDG goal seventeen (partnerships for the goals), the company’s efforts have already proved fruitful as they had been chosen by the Canadian Space Agency to put their diagnostic technology on the international space station, and have also been given grants to continue their work. This is one of many current investors that the company has and hopes to gain more as a source of funding for the Prospector, as well as future innovations.

Social and environmental benefit

The main outlook the CEO of Alentic Microscience, Dr. Alan Fine, had when he started the company was purely philanthropic. His previous research in the field of neuroscience brought him to the conclusion that microscopy (especially medical) should be more accessible to the general public. Three quarters of the world’s population don’t have access to quick and easy health care let alone any health care at all. With this in mind Dr. Fine has made it his mission to bring equality in the form of health care to those in need.

Alentic’s Prospector 1.0 would change the face of accessible healthcare, contributing to reduced inequalities globally for those who otherwise wouldn’t have any access at all. Societally, this is a start to bringing third world countries closer to equality with first world countries in the form of quality healthcare. There is no reason why people should have less access to things that improve their quality of life, especially healthcare, something that seems to be a basic human right. Acknowledging this, Alentic is aiming to pave the path to bring efficient healthcare to everyone.

From an environmental standpoint, it hasn’t yet been determined the benefits that the Prospector 1.0 will have as it hasn’t yet been largely distributed. One thing is for sure is that it would save great travel efforts that a person would otherwise make to get to a blood testing clinic and it could be used on-scene in emergency situations which could save electricity and supplies that would be used in a blood testing lab. Being wireless, the device also includes rechargeable batteries, reducing waste and contributing to a healthy environment.

Interview

Alan Fine, CEO

Photo of interviewee

Business information

Alentic Microscience

Alentic Microscience

Halifax, CA
Business Website: https://alentic.com/
Year Founded: 2010
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Alentic Microscience is an innovative biomedical diagnostic start up founded by Dr. Alan Fine PhD VMD in 2010. Alan's goal is to make microscopy more accessible, efficient, and affordable. With the help of his wonderful team, Dr. Fine has been able to develop Alentic's prospector 1.0, a powerful lensless microscopy technology that provides a range of information regarding blood counts within mere minutes.