Why digitally connected assays are the heartbeat of innovation in lateral flow

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In May, Team Bond took part in the BioDot Lateral Flow Workshop 2019 in Amsterdam, one of the highlights of the lateral flow calendar.

After attending the annual event for the first time last year in Zaragoza, Spain, we learned much about the lateral flow sector and made some important connections that went on to become strong partnerships. Bond Digital Health are focusing their efforts on servicing the valuable and fast-growing lateral flow market.

This year, as well as last, we were the only dedicated software company at the event, and we found our services were in high demand. Our commercial director Phil Groom gave a presentation at the event, in which he said Bond’s unique offering put the company “at the heart of the lateral flow industry”.

Phil urged lateral flow test developers to build digital connectivity into their strategy, business plan or grant application from the outset, rather than add it in later as an afterthought.

“Why do you need connectivity? Plugging a test or a device into a laptop might have been the way five years ago, but now consumers are increasingly demanding wireless technology. Consumer demand means the industry has to deliver. Every test we deal with has an algorithm involved, or machine learning, or AI. If you are doing that, you need to put it somewhere – either in the app or the cloud. But if you are to implement and utilise machine learning, you need connectivity. It’s unavoidable - the industry is demanding it. I think we will look back in five years’ time and wonder how we ever managed by writing things down and plugging things in.”

Leading lateral flow companies are at the forefront of this transformation using Bond’s technology to enhance the capabilities of their tests and readers. Our partner network is expanding as people begin to realise the inevitability of the digital evolution.

Phil talked about Bond’s expertise in issues of compliance and regulation for software providers in the sector.

“You can write an App or a dashboard, but the second you apply for a CE mark or go through any kind of regulatory process, if it hasn’t been written properly or isn’t documented they’ll just make you write it again from scratch. We’ve had companies come to us who’ve spent tens of thousands on an App and cloud platform but as soon as they go to commercialise it, the FDA or the MHRA say their software’s not compliant. We sit in the field of software as a medical device (SaMD), we’re experts in this.”

We were also proud to be able to reveal a new project we are developing in conjunction with Germany-based lateral flow company QIAGEN Lake Constance. QIAGEN demonstrated its new handheld lateral flow reader, called ESE Quant go, while we showcased a mock-up of a companion app and cloud system we are developing that will showcase the functionality of the reader and how an end-to-end digital platform will enhance its capability. The platform will allow instant test results to be displayed on a smartphone, with data securely stored and streamed to the cloud.

Dave Taylor, Bond’s co-founder and COO, said: “The Lateral Flow Workshop was a big success for us. We had a huge interest in the project we are working on with QIAGEN, including lots of positive feedback on the user-friendly design, the intuitive interface and the overall ease of use.

“As Phil said in his presentation, it really feels like Bond is at the heart of the lateral flow sector, and the response we received from delegates and vendors in Amsterdam backs that up. We made many more valuable connections at the Lateral Flow Workshop 2019, which we look forward to developing into productive partnerships.”

If you would like to know more about how Bond Digital Health is enhancing assay and reader performance and driving growth from the heart of the lateral flow community, please get in touch.