Doctors who suspect that a patient has had a myocardial infarction or is suffering from another heart disorder request a blood test to measure troponin, a protein released into the bloodstream by damaged heart muscle.
According to Lars Halvor Langmoen, CEO of SpinChip, an Oslo point-of-care (POC) start-up, this presents a dilemma. Doctors can order a POC troponin test taking 10-20 minutes, but offering unreliable results. Or they can wait an hour or two to get reliable results from a lab. And for cardiologists, time is muscle. The longer the wait, the greater the risk of further heart damage.
“Doctors in hospitals here in Norway are generally not comfortable using point-of-care instruments because in so many cases they can’t detect heart attacks. They basically don’t trust the level of detection they have today,” said Langmoen.
Like Coffee Cartridges
Langmoen was part of management at solar manufacturer NorSun, Norway’s fastest growing technology company. He likens the SpinChip business model to the one that led to coffee makers using cartridges for different coffee flavors.