Reno startup seeks biometric solutions
Enormously successful visionaries are found in garages now and again.Witness Hewlett and Packard.
And here in Northern Nevada possibly just possibly inventor Milton Fuller and his startup company Pindi Products Inc.
Driven by the diabetes suffered by his wife and daughter, Fuller invented and patented a device that measures a body’s glucose without pricking, poking, or sticking with a needle.
It’s non-invasive and is done by touching a finger to a tiny spot on a small device.
Non-invasive glucose monitoring is the “holy grail” of diabetes self-management, says Pindi Products Inc.
Chairman Scott Armstrong.
Numerous companies, both mega and micro, are currently searching for the grail.
The reason is that the current method of diabetes monitoring requires a diabetic to puncture a finger with a spring-loaded needle four to seven times a day, produce a drop of blood, and use a test strip to measure changing glucose levels.
The process is painful, and both children and adults avoid it.
The cost of avoidance is measured both in the health of the diabetic and the cost of escalated health conditions to insurance companies.
The noninvasive glucose home monitoring market is a $5 billion segment in the United States alone, adds Armstrong.
Pindi has spent $1.1 million to get this far, he adds, and it now has proof of concept and a prototype.
Armstrong reports that Pindi has 150 private stockholders thus far, a group made up chiefly of physicians and related professionals, attorneys, and business investors.
It’s currently seeking capital to move to the final product design stage.
The device can be made with alreadyavailable off-the-shelf electronic components, he says, and can be produced in a size comparable to a PDA (personal digital assistant).
According to a recent report by Diabetes Health, Pindi Products is not the only hopeful currently seeking the grail.
Other technologies being studied include infrared spectroscopy,
ultrasound, radio-wave impedance, and variations on these.
Pindi’s technology uses a high radio frequency signal and electro-magnetic field to isolate the signatures of molecular substances.
Deciphering the information utilizes algorithms designed by Erin Looney, vice president of research and development.
Looney, who joined Pindi just a year ago, describes himself as a multi-discipline scientist physics,math, biochemistry, computer science), with a specialty in pattern recognition.
According to Armstrong, Looney is a selftaught genius who has been programming computers since age five and whose contribution is the integration of all of the sciences into one interlaced product and result.
Armstrong’s contribution is business and marketing.
A graduate of Michigan State and an entrepreneur,Armstrong was a business broker of mergers and acquisitions when he met Fuller and became part of the Pindi quest.
“This is a dream and an adventure,” he says of his work at Pindi.
If it all seems too grand to be possible for an invention being researched out of a small home-office north of Reno, it gets better.
One day, as the team was researching and testing its device and algorithms, they discovered that it also measures other chemical compounds – bits and molecules that signify heart problems, cancer, viruses and a whole list of other health conditions.
If this turns out to be true and the team is certain that it is, based on their own testing so far then this would mean that a single touch of the finger to a button would produce health information currently available only via a combination of MRI, X-ray, ultrasound and blood testing, On the day that they discovered this possibility, the team celebrated, says inventor Fuller with a smile.
They celebrated a lot.
They kept on working and discovered there’s more.
Each body has a biometric signature, says Looney, that is unique, can be measured by Pindi’s device, and can be used as an identity authenticator.
The market for this includes credit cards, banking identification, security applications, and any access that is tied to identity.
As they go forward, the team envisions a parallel development phase,with the home glucose monitor version developed alongside the biometric signature identity version.
Contact info: Pindi Products, Inc.
The unanimous approvals Wednesday came despite state leaders promising to tighten up requirements for Nevada’s tax abatements and incentives for future companies.