Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that affects 30 million people worldwide, including 100,000 Americans. It can cause excruciating pain, and severe complications such as chronic organ damage, blindness, and stroke.
Today, most children born with the disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most prevalent, won't make it past their fifth birthday because of the lack of diagnostics available to them.
In higher-resource settings like the United States, individuals living with sickle cell, who are mostly in the African American and Hispanic communities, live on average 33 years shorter lives than the average American. Frequent emergency room visits and hospitalization causes significant economic, social, and psychological burdens.
KovaDx is building a tool that will make diagnosis of red blood cell diseases like sickle cell disease fast, affordable, and easy to use. Our tool will also allow for the ongoing monitoring and preventative care for individuals with sickle cell disease by using 3D Quantitative Phase Imaging to obtain data about cells. This data is run through our proprietary deep learning models for a diagnostic and monitoring classification.
Monitoring Tool for RBC Health
In high-income countries like U.S., there is widespread testing at birth. However, those who are mostly likely to suffer from SCD often overlap with the population who have the least access to care. SCD exacerbates the already stark disparity in health care access and outcomes for African Americans as compared to the rest of the population. The total lifetime treatment cost for a patient is around $1M, with some estimates bringing that number to $8.7M, owing in large part to hospitalizations and emergency care. KovaDx has the potential to significantly reduce this burden by providing monitoring to prevent crises that require hospitalizations and emergency care.
We care deeply about addressing systemic injustices that deprive people of basic rights. We believe that regardless of income or circumstances of birth, no one should have to forgo healthcare due to a lack of resources. Starting with Sickle Cell Disease, we will apply our proprietary 3D phase imaging microscope and deep learning algorithms to solve the world’s biggest global health problems including sickle cell, malaria, and blood cancers.