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Home Monitoring Device for Blood Cell, Neutrophil Counts Shows Positive Initial Results

Jaime Rosenberg
Initial results of a study have found that white blood cell counts and absolute neutrophil counts, which are well-established predictors of risk of infections or febrile neutropenia, can be accurately measured with a finger stick drop of blood and point-of-care hematology results.
Initial results of a study have found that white blood cell counts and absolute neutrophil counts, which are well-established predictors of risk of infections or febrile neutropenia, can be accurately measured with a finger stick drop of blood and point-of-care hematology results. These preliminary results were presented at the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Typically, patients who are at high risk for febrile neutropenia due to chemotherapy for cancer, idiosyncratic drug reactions, or congenital neutrophil disorders are monitored at hospitals or clinic laboratories. However, “for many patients, effective and frequent monitoring is difficult due to the time required and costs of repeated laboratory visits,” wrote the researchers.

Offering a more convenient and cost-effective alternative, the Athelas One is a miniature point-of-care hematology analyzer that can be used at home for monitoring both white blood cell and neutrophil counts. In order to measure these counts, a small drop of blood from a finger stick or anticoagulated blood sample is drawn onto a test strip, which is then inserted into the device that scans and tests the strip using an image analysis.

Comparing results from the device with standard laboratory counters, the researchers used 43 blood samples with a range of known white blood cell counts, including samples with normal counts, leukocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia, and neutrophilia.

According to the researchers, results showed strong linearity and comparability between the 2 testing methods, with a correlation of 0.998 for white blood cells counts and a correlation of 0.989 for absolute neutrophil count when comparing Athelas One blood to standard laboratory counters. Similarly, when comparing Athelas One capillary to standard laboratory counts, there was a correlation of 0.998 for white blood cells counts and a correlation of 0.97 for absolute neutrophil counts.

“The slope and intercept indicated a linear relationship, with a 95% confidence interval slope and intercept containing 1 and 0, respectively,” explained the researchers.

In addition to the 43 blood samples, the researchers also tested 18 samples with white blood cell counts less like 1.0 x 109/L, which produced comparable results between the Athelas One device and standard hospital counter.

Reflecting on these initial findings, the researchers write that given its small size, ease of use, and accuracy, the device is suitable for home monitoring.

Reference:

Dale D, Kelley M, Navarro-De La Vega M, Parthasarathy D, et al. A novel device suitable for home monitoring of white blood cell and neutrophil counts. Presented at: 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition; December 1, 2018; San Diego, CA. Abstract 1103.

 
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