Say hello to Athelas One

Say hello to Athelas One

Dhruv Parthasarathy, CTO
Dhruv Parthasarathy, CTO
October 29, 2021

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1.9 million.

This is the number of new cancer cases that will be diagnosed in America in 2021. Many of these patients will endure extensive chemotherapy to fight the disease - but this treatment doesn’t discriminate between cancer cells and healthy white blood cells.

For this reason, doctors require regular blood monitoring throughout treatment. This arduous process involves: driving to clinics, venous blood draws, waiting for a printer-sized machine developed two decades ago to process the samples, manual reporting of results, and finally a conclusion.

Unfortunately, this was the reality of life for oncology patients in 2016 when our founders began working towards a common goal: bringing world-class healthcare into every home. The first step was to re-imagine what blood diagnostics should look like.

At a time when the average smartphone could speak foreign languages and navigate around traffic jams in real-time, it seemed absurd that technology hadn’t trickled down into the healthcare space. This is what sparked the development of Athelas One.

Introducing Athelas One

Athelas One is a 3-minute blood diagnostics tool that segments and counts the hematology composition of an individual's blood. With just a single drop of blood it automatically focuses, captures high resolution imagery, and pushes those images through a machine learning model to determine the concentration of different WBCs (white blood cells) in one’s blood stream. It is able to identify neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets, and even measure hemoglobin — data points that comprise the traditional CBC (complete blood count).

Today, there are thousands of Athelas Ones deployed and active across the world, making bloodwork more comfortable for patients and more accessible for their doctors.

How does it work?

Athelas One is the culmination of 4 years of hardware engineering, software development, and hundreds of clinical trials. Our cross functional team built the product from the ground up to compete against the incumbent in the hematology space: the Sysmex XE-5000. The result? We received 510(k) Class II clearance for Athelas One in 2019.

This means it's as accurate as the printer-sized machines of yesteryear, at a fraction of the cost and size.

Image captured by the Athelas One and an image augmentation done prior to model training.

Hardware, software, and test strips come together in concert to produce a streamlined, efficient, and powerful diagnostics platform whose results are as accurate as gold-standard devices at a fraction of the cost. Put simply: something the size of a postage stamp has been FDA-cleared to replace important parts of a full-blown lab bench.

“...something the size of a postage stamp has been FDA-cleared to replace important parts of a full-blown lab bench”

The Impact

Athelas One is changing lives on a daily basis. Doctors across the world ranging across specialities from oncology to psychiatry use our devices to monitor their patient’s blood composition to direct treatment and run diagnosis.

To date, Athelas has detected cases of leukemia, supported the difficult journeys of cancer patients, and even helped identify malaria. Our inbox regularly sees mail from patients whose lives have been changed because of the ease of use.

Innovations like the Athelas One bring us closer to our mission of bringing simple, life-changing health care products to people around the globe.