Novarum has received a patent for its smartphone diagnostic technology in the US.

The company, part of in-vitro diagnostics manufacturer BBI Solutions, has developed image capture technology which transforms a smartphone into a diagnostic reader. It enables clinicians to derive accurate lab-quality test results directly from the point of care and is the only end-to-end mobile test reader system on the market.

The US patent 9,903,857 was officially granted at a time when the Novarum had achieved a significant milestone with the equivalent European patent. The company attended oral proceedings at the European Patent Office last month and it was concluded that its filed application will also be granted in 2018.

Dr Neil Polwart, founder of Novarum and BBI Group head of mobile, said: “This consolidates our intellectual property position in key strategic markets and confirms our belief that we are leaders in bringing mobile technology to the diagnostics market. The allowance of these applications is key technology for enabling a mobile device to read diagnostic tests, without adding any additional hardware. Both patent offices have recognised the novelty and inventiveness of the solution Novarum developed back in 2011, which corrects for the inevitable misalignment when a user scans a test with a handheld device.”

This latest announcement builds upon Novarum’s patent success in China, Japan and Russia with a number of other territories pending.

Polwart added: “As well as a huge bank of technical know-how related to solving the problems of reading diagnostic tests with the mobile phone in your pocket, rather than specialist equipment, we have built a sophisticated library of technology which helps us deploy more robust products into the field, faster than ever before.  Accuracy of measurement and ease-of-use are essentially impossible to combine without our technology, or adding cumbersome device-specific hardware accessories to your phone.

“Given how frequently users change their phones, it is no surprise that the market is looking for solutions that don’t involve bulky, expensive hardware add-ons which reduce portability, and inevitably, aren’t futureproof.  Whether someone needs quantitative or qualitative test results on an Apple or Android device, or even on emerging technologies like wearable glasses with in-built displays, they will require a license to use our intellectual property.  As most of the world’s leading diagnostic companies are based in the US or Europe, these territories are particularly significant for our linked commercial and intellectual property strategies.”

BBI Group CEO, Mario Gualano, said: “We were delighted to receive word about Novarum’s pending patent applications. An increasing number of in-vitro diagnostics companies are embracing the disruptive technology of mobile and embarking upon mHealth [mobile health] strategies. Novarum continues to remain at the forefront of technologies for next-generation diagnostics and that is essential in support of our ambitious plans for growth.”