For this reason, both of them now have the chance to win the award in the category “Industry” of the European Inventor Award 2017, which is granted by the European Patent Agency (EPA).
Since 2006, the EPA has given prizes to outstanding inventors in the categories Industry, Research, SMEs, non-European countries and Lifetime Achievement. These are designed to honor inventors or teams of developers whose work makes a special contribution to social, technological and economic progress.
In their work at Siemens Healthineers, Hayden and Van den Boogaart did not rely on the time-intensive and cost-intensive proof of the malaria pathogens, but pursued a different approach, namely the identification of specific changes in the blood count of patients triggered by the disease. For example, malaria patients show a reduction in the number of blood platelets (thrombocytes). However, this alone would not be sufficient as the basis for a reliable diagnosis. The combination of 30 different values enabled the developers to put together a type of data fingerprint of malaria and thus diagnose the disease with 97% certainty. The automated method developed at the Siemens medicine division in Vienna enables examinations with a higher throughput and at lower costs than in the past. In the meantime, the two researchers are working on expanding the diagnostic tool based on the data fingerprint to detect other diseases such as leukemia.
The European Inventor Award 2017 will be bestowed on the winners in Venice on June 15, 2017.