CLEVELAND — Ohio State Medical School graduate, trauma surgeon and entrepreneur Dr. Gregory Hummer was enjoying retirement when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
He wanted to be part of the solution and was frustrated by the slow speed and inaccuracy of PCR testing. So he took a look at some technology he had been working on at Case Western Reserve University a decade earlier.
“At that time, there was a big emphasis by the government on detecting bombs inside shipping containers by terrorists. So we took that same technology today and we modified it at Purdue University,” said Hummer.
IdentifySensors uses saliva, and nanosensor technology detects not only COVID-19, but also the flu and other bacteria in the food supply chain like E.Coli or Salmonella.
Hummer said results are sent to your smart phone within minutes.
“In 2019, 10 million people in the United States got the flu. So how are they going to know if they got COVID or the flu? Our test will be able to tell them. So we test for the N gene and that's what we're looking for, whereas all the variants are taking place in the S gene or the spike protein gene. So we're good on the variants,” said Hummer.
IdentifySensors was recently awarded TechOhio's first-ever Startup Creativity Challenge, showing the diversity of innovation taking place here in the Buckeye State.
“And a lot of other institutions, both public and private throughout the state, there's a lot of great things happening here. And one of the things that IdentifySensors is really committed to is keeping as much of the manufacturing and technology development in Ohio as possible,” said IdentifySensors Chief Information Officer Joe Mosbrook.
Hummer and his team say IdentifySensors continue to receive worldwide interest from investors.
He hopes to get the capital they need to distribute the product before the end of the year.
The Cleveland native said he's happy to make a difference not only in our country, but in the global battle against COVID-19.
“You know, I took an oath back down at Ohio State to help humanity and not do any harm. And this is my way of repaying that,” said Hummer.
IdentifySensors reusable reader is expected to cost about $130, and the COVID-19 test cartridge is expected to cost around $25.
IdentifySensors is expected to hit the market later this year. For more information, click here.