Nov 11, 2022
Innovating to bring molecular tests to patients’ homes

Collaboration with Decode Health aims to accelerate innovation for disease testing, clinical trials, chronic care management and more

By Brooke Story, Worldwide President, Integrated Diagnostic Solutions, BD

When you hear about molecular diagnostics, your mind may go straight to the kind of testing that occurs in hospitals, laboratories, or even research facilities. These traditional locations are critical to patient care and breaking new ground in diagnosis and treatment. But what if you could collect samples in new care settings, such as from the convenience of your home, to screen for chronic diseases? Or track the progress of conditions? Or even using at-home sample collection to participate in clinical trials? These breakthroughs have the potential to unlock better outcomes for people living with chronic conditions. Making healthcare more manageable, accessible and convenient with smarter, more connected solutions that open the possibility for diagnostic testing in these new settings is a driving force for innovation at BD—and it’s the future of healthcare.

One of the ways we're advancing this meaningful, transformative innovation is through strategic partnerships. At BD, we collaborate with companies at the forefront of enabling technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, sensors, and automation, to complement and enhance our solutions. A recent strategic partnership is with Decode Health, a healthcare AI company that powers an ecosystem of diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies to unlock discoveries with data and advance precision medicine. Decode Health uses machine learning to analyze genomic, clinical and social determinants of health (SDoH) data to discover biomarkers and other risk factors that predict specific chronic or acute disease outcomes. The current partnership builds on a decade of the Decode team’s work developing solutions that accelerate speed to value for diagnostic and pharma companies pursuing innovative clinical decision support tools and RNA diagnostics.

Together, with Decode Health, we will evaluate the utility of a home collection portfolio to detect molecular markers, including whole blood and cell-free RNAs. Such biomarkers could be used to detect and track a variety of illnesses– from diabetes to more complex conditions like autoimmune disease. With clinician engagement, we believe that home collection could one day enable the selection and shipment of medications right to patients’ doors—no visit to the lab or the doctor’s office, no specialized equipment or complex training. A sample could be collected at home and shipped to the lab.

As an example, for ongoing treatment of chronic diseases, rather than avoiding or delaying a scheduled office visit, we want to empower patients to test themselves every couple of weeks. Such results could help the healthcare provider ensure the patient’s condition is trending in the right direction, and if a dosage adjustment is needed, it could happen quickly in consultation with their healthcare provider.

Leveraging BD’s 125 years of experience and expertise in medical devices, BD and Decode Health will combine our commitments to technological innovations with the goal of stabilizing molecular markers like RNA using methods to capture capillary blood with a simple finger stick. We’re also looking at cell-free and genomic DNA, which could enable groundbreaking innovations in many areas, including oncology screening. For example, instead of going to a lab and having blood taken from a vein, patients could potentially use an in-home collection kiti to collect the sample, send the sample to the lab, and get the same scope of analysis and results—all without leaving home.

In addition to fueling the next generation of advanced molecular diagnostic tests, we believe that at-home molecular testing could support decentralized clinical trials. Requiring patients to go to a lab weekly or daily can significantly impact clinical trial participation, which can mean less data and longer times to obtain data – collectively slowing the research and development of potentially life-saving treatments. A home collection kit that replaces traveling to a trial site could provide a convenience that removes participation barriers, improves trial diversity, and helps ensure a sustained, efficient flow of clinical trial data.

We're excited as we look at the potential impact of advances through partnerships like the one with Decode Health. Collaborations such as these can help us innovate with the potential to enable clinicians to make more timely and informed care decisions and to support consumer access and convenience.

i The capillary collection device is an investigational device under 21 C.F.R. 812 and requires additional studies to make any definitive conclusions about safety or efficacy

BD IDS Specimen Management Partnership Opportunities

As the global leader in specimen collection, BD continues to innovate and collaborate with market-leading companies to find enabling solutions. To learn more and to engage with our strategic vision, please reach out to

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