News & Topics

Aug 27, 2019

Contributing to Better Local Health Care in Africa
A Simple Blood Testing Device Launched for Rural Clinics with Scant Access to Medical Treatment
- Exhibited Starting Today at Co-located Event of TICAD7 Business Expo -

ARKRAY, Inc. will exhibit "The Lab 004," a simple blood testing device developed for frontline medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, at a co-located event of the Business Expo of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held from August 28th to 30th, 2019, in Yokohama. This compact device for kidney and liver function testing will be a great help for rural and traveling clinics that have inadequate access to medical treatment., because it is usable even without a stable electricity supply, drainage, or clean water services. The device will go on sale starting in October 2019 in a rolling launch to contribute to the early detection and treatment of chronic kidney and liver diseases that are on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa.

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of patients in sub-Saharan Africa, not only with the three major infectious diseases (HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria) but also with non-communicable diseases, and especially with an increase of diabetic patients,*1 this has become a serious social issue from the perspective of rising medical costs as well. Behind the increase in patients is rapid urbanization accompanied by diminished exercise and a less balanced diet, low supplies of drugs including insulin, and a lack of knowledge among medical practitioners and patients themselves about diabetes. In addition, rural areas that constitute 60% of sub-Saharan Africa are often unable to access testing due to the lack of testing infrastructure, which leads to delayed discovery of the disease and an increase in severity.
Chronic Kidney Disorder (CKD), one of complications from diabetes, is also on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa*2. In this region where there are also numerous HIV infections, CKD and liver diseases are also known to be caused by long-term administration of anti-HIV drugs. If CKD progresses, dialysis or kidney transplants may be required, but only a handful of regions are equipped with sophisticated medical facilities that support such procedures, causing high medical costs for continued treatment. In light of this situation, we believe that periodic testing of patient wellness and early treatment before the symptoms progress are highly important.

"The Lab 004," developed by ARKRAY, Inc., is a small simplified blood testing device specialized for CKD and liver disease testing that can also be used for liver and kidney function screening to help solve the social issues mentioned above. Its dry biochemistry technology*3 allows its use in environments without sufficient water supply and drainage as well as in areas with an unstable electricity supply by using a mobile battery in addition to the included AC adaptor.

This product will be exhibited at the co-located event of TICAD7, which starts today, and will be launched for sale on a rolling basis in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, and other countries from October 2019. By aiding remote and traveling clinics in the sub-Saharan region, we aim to contribute to the early discovery and treatment of CKD and liver diseases in areas that have scant access to medical treatment.

Exhibiting in the Business Expo at TICAD7
 Venue: Room A-03, Exhibit Hall D, Pacifico Yokohama
 Dates/Times: 11:00 to 18:00, Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
                     10:00 to 18:00, Thursday, August 29th
                     10:00 to 18:00, Friday, August 30th

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Primary Features

○Kidney and liver function screening
It can monitor kidney function by measuring creatinine, and can monitor kidney and liver damage from side-effects of anti-HIV drugs by measuring AST and ALT.

○Compact, portable and usable in traveling clinics
This compact device can be operated using a mobile battery without the included AC adaptor, so it is usable in areas without a stable supply of electricity. The dry biochemistry technology allows use in environments without access to clean water supply and drainage, enabling it to be used in traveling clinics.

○Easy operation and maintenance-free
After setting the test strip in the device, press the start button and apply the sample. Just insert the tray to start the measurements. The simple device structure does not require periodic maintenance.

Terminology

*1 The number of diabetes patients in sub-Saharan Africa was estimated to be about 16 million people in 2017 and is projected to rise to 41 million by 2045. This rate of increase is trending higher than any other regions in the world. Another feature of sub-Saharan Africa is that 69% (more than 2 out of 3) of diabetes-afflicted persons are not diagnosed as having diabetes, or do not even realize that they are sick, and this rate is higher than any other regions in the world. (Diabetes Atlas, 8th Edition (2017), International Diabetes Federation)

*2 According to UN population estimates, 1.066 billion people live in sub-Saharan Africa, of which 60% live in rural villages. The CKD disease rate is said to be about 12% with about 76 million patients in rural regions alone.

*3 A method where all reagents needed for reactions at the time of measurement are contained in films and filtration paper, requiring no liquid other than a sample, such as blood, in which the water contained in the sample is sufficient to complete the reaction.

Product Overview

Name "The Lab 004" dry biochemistry clinical analyzer
Release date October 2019
Specifications
   Measurement subject Blood serum, plasma
   Measurement items Creatinine, uric acid, serum calcium, AST, ALT
   Measurement principle Dual wavelength transmitted light measurement
   Measurement times Approximately 4 to 5 minutes (depending on the item)
   Required sample size 4 μL
   External dimensions W: 110 × D: 225 × H: 54 mm
   Weight 0.6 kg
Sales Area African nations (sub-Sahara) *There are no plans for sale within Japan