Can Multisensor Diagnostics Develop a Tricorder?
Sathya Elumalai spent more than 10 years in the healthcare field, working in everything from data analytics to research. But when he learned about the MouthLab device, he was drawn to the opportunity to directly affect patient care.
Elumalai was attracted to the device first conceived by Johns Hopkins professor Gene Fridman, PhD, for a personal reason.
With his own mother suffering from multiple chronic conditions, Elumalai would talk to her several times a day to check on her health. Often, she would be feeling fine in the morning but would be hospitalized by that evening. He tried giving her a variety of devices to use to monitor her conditions, but they were all too complicated for her to use regularly. “Technology was not helping,” Elumalai acknowledged.
Meanwhile, he himself has been diagnosed with prediabetes.
Elumalai realized that people with chronic conditions like his mother need a simple and easy-to-use solution so that they can monitor their health on a daily basis. “A device like this would also help me predict what’s happening to my health at a very early stage.”
He joined with Dr. Fridman to develop a prototype. They spent almost six years advancing MouthLab so it could measure 10 health indicators through a simple and quick mouth scan.
Through this device, Elumalai says he’s working to change the culture of healthcare monitoring by making a daily mouth scan a simple part of people’s routine. It’s as easy to use as a spoon and no other remote patient monitoring device is doing the same thing, he notes.
Meanwhile, the company – Multisensor Diagnostics – continues to work to advance the device’s detection capabilities. Future microchips will be able to capture different elements from breath, saliva, and mucus to detect more diseases at an early stage. Elumalai envisions MouthLab detecting illnesses such as lung cancer early enough to have a big impact on the survival rate.