US-based newborn screening and pediatric testing company Baebies is set to introduce the near birth newborn testing platform, Finder, at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting.

Claimed to be the world’s first near birth newborn testing platform, the device is slated to be commercially available next year.

Finder operates on tiny droplets of blood for a quick performance of time critical tests for newborns.

"The platform’s small sample requirements and short test times enable patient-friendly and timely clinical intervention."

The platform is 8in wide and features a detachable mini tablet for user interface and can be used on a range of settings including hospital nurseries or laboratories, neonatal intensive care units and birthing centres.

The Finder consumables are preloaded with all necessary reagents and it is expected to issue a quick result for life-threatening conditions.

Baebies CEO and co-founder Richard West said: "Drawing a large volume of blood from a newborn is painful for baby, traumatic for mum, and unwise for the clinician.

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"In addition, test results from current laboratory methods arrive too late for some newborns.

"The platform’s small sample requirements and short test times enable patient-friendly and timely clinical intervention."

Baebies is developing a test panel for hyperbilirubinemia in collaboration with Duke University School of Medicine chief of neonatology Dr Ronald Goldberg and Stanford University School of Medicine professor of pediatrics Dr Vinod Bhutani.

The new test panel will be designed for an early diagnosis where intervention is expected to improve results.

Dr Goldberg said: "Testing for hyperbilirubinemia cannot be performed under the traditional newborn screening paradigm of sending dried blood specimens to a central lab.

"Neonates often have limited blood volumes available for testing.

"A near birth platform that tests a panel of markers for hyperbilirubinemia, and potentially other conditions, using a single drop of blood while rapidly returning the results would be a significant improvement."