Luminary Labs to design and produce new CDC challenge

Luminary Labs to design and produce new CDC challenge

Prize competition will address the urgent need for more sensitive, reliable, and accessible blood lead (Pb) testing.

Childhood lead poisoning is a major public health problem in the United States, and it disproportionately impacts minority and other disadvantaged children. Unfortunately, these same children are less likely than their peers to be tested for lead exposure and are at a higher risk for more adverse consequences of lead poisoning. Exposure to lead can impact many aspects of human health — from cognitive development and learning abilities to immune response and kidney function. That’s why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2030 initiative has established goals to reduce lead exposure in the population and reduce blood lead levels in young children.

Because clinical symptoms of lead exposure may be subtle and undetected by a clinical exam, and because there is no safe level of exposure, the best way to determine exposure is to collect and test a blood sample at the point of care. Currently, there is only one FDA-cleared point-of-care test for lead. New methods and emerging technologies could provide alternative diagnostic tools for public health practitioners and clinicians, opening up opportunities to address America’s lead crisis with highly effective, low-cost testing.

We’re delighted to announce that Luminary Labs is designing and producing a point-of-care blood lead (Pb) testing challenge on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a contract with the NASA Tournament Lab.

The challenge seeks to develop a portable, simple-to-use, and affordable system that can detect very low concentrations of lead from whole blood samples at the point of care. This technology could be used by healthcare providers who are not trained laboratorians, enabling widespread screening and testing for lead exposure.

Challenge design is already underway, with an anticipated public launch this fall. Join the open innovation community at Luminary Labs to receive updates on this and other new competitions, accelerators, events, and funding opportunities.