JHTV is celebrating 10 innovations in 10 years

Over the next several months, we will highlight innovations from the past decade at The Johns Hopkins University to illustrate the depth, breadth and impact of research from the university’s many divisions and disciplines.

Founded in Baltimore in 2021, CurieDx is a remote virtual diagnostic software tool, developed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, by pediatric emergency medicine physician Therese Canares, M.D., and computer scientist Mathias Unberath. Among the first of its kind, the SaaS B2B software provides an almost instant diagnosis for strep throat, with six more diagnostics in development for common diseases, including urinary tract infections (UTI).

As parents of young children, Canares and Unberath have both personal and professional experience with overcrowded emergency rooms filled with patients that could be treated at primary or urgent care facilities, or via telehealth. The combination of overwhelmed emergency room workers and the lack of testing tools, such as rapid test streptococcus and urine dipsticks, often result in the over-prescribing of antibiotics or patients being diverted elsewhere without care.

Recognizing the massive potential for a technology that could provide remote testing for common diseases, Canares and software engineer Rashmi Sachan worked together to found CurieDx. Using mobile technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and smartphone cameras, the software provides patients detailed instructions of how to take a picture of their throat. The image is then processed by the platform’s AI models to determine if the patient has strep throat and the diagnosis can be viewed by patients and telehealth practitioners. CurieDx’s goal is to improve the quality of care at home and provide autonomy, data and relief for patients and their practitioners. Canares adds, “We want people to feel empowered, like they have lab tests in their pocket.”

CurieDx focused their preliminary testing on strep throat because not only is it a pervasive childhood ailment, but it currently requires an in-person visit for a diagnosis. Without a throat swab test, clinicians are only 60% accurate in detecting strep throat, however with the CurieDx platform patients receive an instant diagnosis for strep throat with 80% accuracy. The platform is designed for diverse populations and includes a broad image database that reflects diversity in race, age, sex and disability.

Canares adds that the team named their platform after Marie Curie, because “against all odds, in a very different era, she still managed to be successful bringing her innovation and discoveries to light.”

CurieDx Milestones:

  • Currently Raising $1.3M pre-seed round
  • $400K raised from TEDCO and Angel Investors
  • Partnerships established with national urgent care chains, Johns Hopkins and Brown
  • Paid pilot booked with a telehealth practice
  • Go to Market: Direct sales, with $2M in the sales pipeline
  • Application launched in the iOS app store
  • Awarded $600k non-dilutive grants from the National Science Foundation and Microsoft
  • Awarded $98k through Biscotti Foundation Translational Funding
  • Received the Children’s Center Innovation Award

More about CurieDx and Canares: