WaveGuide: Breakthrough technology delivers rapid results to help prevent pandemics

In Brief

About WaveGuide

WaveGuide, a Delaware corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, researches and develops hand-held micro-nuclear magnetic resonance platform technology. WaveGuide combines proprietary molecular spectroscopy and diagnostic techniques to provide a system to allow diagnosis and analysis, even in remote settings, thereby helping to reduce costs and improve responsiveness to critical patient needs.

Industry focus

Medical and industrial detection

Size

Startup

The situation

Officials at WaveGuide knew the company’s breakthrough technology could be used to help diagnose patients in developing countries, where people had little or no access to medical care. WaveGuide wanted to add connectivity to its micro-nuclear magnetic resonance devices to enable healthcare workers in the field to submit data to its research center, which could identify and report developing trends to help stop the spread of infectious diseases.

Technology delivers low cost, rapid, point-of-care diagnosis

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology has been used for decades to analyze and identify materials and to enable physicians to distinguish between normal and cancerous tissue. NMR spectrometers are large, expensive machines, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and so have been available only at first-world hospitals and universities.

WaveGuide’s handheld, reusable NMR spectrometer (which is the world’s smallest such device in a handheld, battery operated format) gives healthcare professionals the power to provide rapid diagnostic services in their own offices, clinics, and hospitals. The portable device, roughly the size of a shoe, uses NMR and a specific chemistry to determine whether a patient has an infectious disease.

Besides testing individual patients, WaveGuide wanted to collect and analyze all patients’ data to identify patterns and alert the countries’ health ministries, to help to stop the spread of diseases. The company needed to enable healthcare workers in the field to send data to WaveGuide researchers who could spot developing trends and alert local health officials to help contain the diseases.

Helping to stop outbreaks from becoming pandemics

Equipping their devices with robust, reliable AT&T connectivity enables WaveGuide to bring about quicker diagnoses and treatment for patients everywhere, but especially in remote parts of the world. “The device does all the work. We use the IoT network to aggregate the data and report back when there are outbreaks of a disease or when there are certain problems,” said Nelson Stacks, President and CEO of WaveGuide, “It will also help us develop even better algorithms for faster detection with even better sensitivity and specificity.”

The AT&T Global SIM card gives WaveGuide’s devices the power to quickly transmit results to the company’s research facilities half a world away. In addition, the AT&T Control Center enables WaveGuide to deploy and manage its connective devices around the world in near real-time.

Stacks said he was attracted to AT&T because of its international presence and commitment to use the Internet of Things to reduce carbon footprints, eliminate food and water waste, and help make the world safer and healthier. “There are other connectivity vendors out there,” he said. “But what made AT&T stand out to us was certainly its global reach and mission to use IoT for good.”

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