LAQV REQUIMTE

LAQV among the winners of BIP 2020

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The Business Ignition Programme (BIP) revealed the three winners of the 2020 edition. The Lithium Meter project developed by LAQV researchers was awarded the third place.

The project was developed by Renato Gil, Ph.D. student of LAQV at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto, in collaboration with Conceição Branco, Célia Amorim, and Alberto Araújo, researchers of LAQV and Professors at the same Faculty. The idea behind the project is to “develop a portable, fast, accurate, and low-cost device, called Lithium Meter, for monitoring blood lithium levels in bipolar patients, with a single drop of blood. The device is paired with the patient's smartphone by a Lithium Meter app, which shares the results in real-time with the psychiatrist for faster and more effective dose adjustment.”, as explained by Renato Gil.

The Lithium Meter aims to overcome the problem that arises from the narrow therapeutic range of lithium, which is commonly prescribed by psychiatrists to treat Bipolar Disorders. To ensure the efficiency and safety of the treatment, lithium levels have to be frequently monitored. Nevertheless, the conventional clinical analysis is based on invasive, inconvenient, and time-consuming methods, making it impossible to obtain results in real-time. The solution is Lithium Meter, as explained by Renato Gil, since it "enables an autonomous measurement by the patients and/or by the healthcare professionals, in which the lithium levels in the blood are obtained in few seconds. The ability to share lithium blood levels in real-time with the psychiatrist allows a faster and more effective dose adjustment, which contributes to a significant improvement of the patient’s life quality.”.

The Business Ignition Programme (BIP) is a business model iteration program for technologies and scientific projects developed in academia.

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