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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2021

Eric Doherty, President of Blink Science, Inc., Speaks to The Silicon Review: ‘We’re Creating the Next-Gen of Ultra-Fast, Ultra-Sensitive, Diagnostics’

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“We’re revolutionizing point-of-care testing by delivering a newly designed, high-tech, low-cost diagnostic way to test for viruses in the global medical community.”

Laboratory test results are often pivotal to critical care decisions. Testing provides physicians with valuable knowledge about the patient’s criticality so that appropriate therapeutic interventions can be made quickly. There has been growing interest in decentralized laboratory testing, especially Point-of-Care (POC) testing in critical care settings (e.g., ICU, OR, ED) where rapid therapeutic turnaround time is needed. POC testing can provide practical and inventive opportunities to revolutionize the delivery of pathology services in rural and remote sectors where the clinical need for this technology is greatest.

Blink Science, Inc. is one such unique medical device company that is developing innovative technology for POC diagnostic testing across a variety of indicators, including COVID-19. It offers instant POC testing capability, a mobile application that allows them to capture test results in the cloud, the ability to share those results with the individual being tested through a mobile passport app, and the ability to verify a person’s vaccination and testing history.

The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Interview Excerpt: Eric Doherty

Q. Blink Science plans to introduce a medical passport system that gives individuals the power to carry and share their own authenticated test results and vaccination records for entry to restaurants, venues, modes of transportation, workplaces, schools, and more. This sounds groundbreaking. Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?

Several organizations have developed digital health passports, but most of the health passports available to date are only focused on a person’s vaccination records. Until vaccines can provide reliable resistance to the many new COVID-19 variants and are universally available for every person everywhere, widespread testing will remain essential. To be truly safe, health passports will need to provide not only vaccination records but recent, reliable test results, as well.

Our digital app, blinkHEALTHPASS™ is a passport system that registers vaccinations and testing information within a HIPAA compliant app and provides verification when an individual has been vaccinated and/or tested. This is a true game-changer for organizations looking to completely reopen safely.

blinkHEALTHPASS™ captures both vaccination and testing records for COVID-19, allowing users to present their health credentials privately to an organization needing to verify their health status before entering their facilities. We will be offering integration services for the entire package to major corporations, professional sports leagues, universities, entertainment venues, and other organizations that need to reopen quickly and safely.

Q. Blink Science is developing ultra-accurate, low-cost test strips and a handheld strip reader with the potential to deliver lab-quality diagnostic results in seconds for infectious diseases such as COVID-19. How did you pull this off?

Blink Science is creating the next-generation of fast diagnostics. Our patented technology and intellectual property use a small test strip, like a blood glucose test. The technology for each test rests in the strip that, when presented with an electrical charge, can measure the presence of a virus against an antibody or aptamer. It produces an instant result, like flipping a light switch. We are currently in negotiations to conduct clinical trials with university, laboratory, and hospital partners, followed by submittals for FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.S., CE certification from the EU, and approval from Health Canada. In addition to COVID-19, we are also preparing to gain approval for tests of COVID/Flu, troponin (a heart attack marker), and sepsis.

Q. Given that your company is developing high-tech, low-cost POC diagnostic tests, how does it plan to offer them to everyone worldwide?

We are working with the three largest glucose strip manufacturers in the country to produce our blinkSTRIPs™. We will begin with the capacity to produce one million test strips per day, then ramping up to 50 million strips per day later this year. Our handheld blinkTEST™, made with low-cost, off-the-shelf electronics, is like a simplified blood glucose meter that will instantly display a simple positive or negative result. This will make it easy and affordable for consumers and healthcare workers to use worldwide. For distribution, we have agreements in place with the two largest healthcare distributors in the world, along with the largest global warehousing and shipping providers. Because our fundamental technology is low-cost, over-the-counter household use will be affordable. The product’s cost will not be a barrier to mass distribution in developing countries where more testing, not just for COVID-19 but other assays, is greatly needed.

Q. Where do you stand as a company in the current market landscape?

As an organization, Blink Science is unique. We are working within two verticals—a Healthcare IT vertical, with blinkHEALTHPASS™, and a Medical Device vertical, with blinkTEST™, that work in combination with each other. We are perhaps the only organization in the world working on both the data and testing sides of the pandemic solution.

On the IT front, we have recently joined IBM Watson Health, Clear, Mastercard, and others as members of the Good Health Pass Collaborative— an open, inclusive, cross-sector initiative that aims to create a blueprint for interoperable digital health pass systems. These collaborations will allow us to bring state-of-the-art security and safety to the new health passport market with blinkHEALTHPASS™.

In the medical device area, our patented technology in the blinkTEST™ system is revolutionary. It will provide test results using saliva, urine, or blood in a POC environment in seconds, while most of the current tests take anywhere from 5-15 minutes or more and are much more intrusive. For patients worried about whether they are positive or negative with COVID-19, with instant test results, individuals can test and progress through their day knowing they do not have the virus and will not infect others. Nobody else in the market offers this type of instant technology.

Q. About your plans, where do you think your company will be in five years?

In five years, Blink Science will be a world leader in POC testing diagnostics. We are already working on additional tests post COVID-19.  In fact, we have more than 50 testing analytes that we hope to bring to market within the next two to three years, including instant test results for strep, flu, STDs, tuberculosis, and many cancers. We are also looking at other applications for instant-result testing, such as food safety and water quality. In the technology space, our development of an electronic health records (EHR) platform will allow for easy interactions with the medical community while keeping individual health records safe and secure.

The Visionary Behind the Success of Blink Science, Inc.

Eric Doherty serves as the president of Blink Science, Inc. He brings to Blink Science nearly 30 years of healthcare-related executive leadership experience in the start-up and reorganizing of businesses in the areas of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, biogenetics, EHR Systems, disposable medical equipment, and consumer goods.

"In the medical device area, our patented technology in the blinkTEST™ system is revolutionary. It will provide test results using saliva, urine, or blood, in a point-of-care (POC) environment in seconds; while most of the current tests take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, or more, and are much more intrusive."