Nicolas Moser Cohort Four participant

Nicolas Moser

Imperial College London

Nicolas Moser

ProtonDx – Handheld rapid diagnosis of chest pain caused by respiratory infections

ProtonDx offers rapid diagnosis of chest pain due to respiratory infections in the palm of your hand. The test relies on microchip technology to detect a panel of pathogens including SARS-CoV-2 in under 30 minutes and synchronises the results on a cloud server for surveillance

Rapid diagnosis of chest pain caused by respiratory infections is essential for clinical management and patient outcomes. This has become particularly critical since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of patients with respiratory distress has increased dramatically, and will be crucial in our response to a potential second wave. Patients developing respiratory distress currently need days to determine the origin of the infection, causing unnecessary emotional pain and delaying the start of treatment.

At ProtonDx, we have developed Lacewing, a smartphone-connected handheld diagnostic platform for rapid and affordable detection of infections among a panel of respiratory diseases, allowing clinicians and nurses to perform diagnosis in clinics and in the community. The sample-to-result system relies on a simple 2-step process to extract DNA or RNA from the patient sample. The test is performed on a single-use disposable cartridge (under 10£) combining state-of-the art microchip technology, microfluidics and molecular chemistry, to rapidly (under 30 minutes) quantify the presence of 20 infections with high sensitivity and selectivity from nasal or throat swabs. The panel includes SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19), influenza and the bacteria causing pneumonia, and can be adapted to new emerging pathogens in under a month.

The cartridge is plugged on the device which processes the data using machine learning algorithms and communicates to a smartphone app to provide the result. The diagnosis is synchronised to a secure cloud server for real-time case identification and epidemiological surveillance, allowing health organisations to monitor real-time spread of epidemics.

Lacewing is unique as it is accessible, low cost, rapid and scalable, enabling patient management in hospitals. We are currently planning clinical validation at Charing Cross Hospital for COVID-19 diagnostics and are scaling up to deliver 1,000 tests by September.


ProtonDx team
ProtonDx team

Diagnostics Accelerator Programme: market access planning and evidence generation

Delivered in partnership with the National Institute of Health Research London In Vitro Diagnostics unit this six-week evidence generation focused programme will support medtech innovators to de-risk the path to successful deployment through the development of a business case validating their clinical, financial and social claims. This way, when innovators approach the health system, they are comfortable in the knowledge that the product achieves what it is designed to do.

Applications Open (closing 7 March 2021)