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Diagnostics innovation in Boston: Audio from Convergence Forum panel

Posted by Scott Kirsner  July 22, 2010 08:38 AM

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dfa-test.jpgOne of the fastest-growing clusters of companies in Boston right now are diagnostics start-ups: companies like SynapDx, which is working to develop tests for the early detection of autism; T2 Biosystems, trying to pack sophisticated lab tests into portable devices; and Diagnostics for All, a Harvard spin-out that is creating cheap, paper-based tests for use in the developing world.

In the photo, Diagnostics for All chief executive Una Ryan is holding a postage-stamp sized test that changes color, after a drop of blood has been applied to it, to indicate how well a patient's liver is functioning. That's essential information if the patient is taking drugs to treat HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis.

At the Convergence Forum last month, Ryan moderated a panel that included On-Q-ity CEO Mara Aspinall, Seventh Sense Biosystems CEO Doug Levinson, Bill Pignato of Novartis Molecular Diagnostics, Don Pogorzelski of Genzyme Diagnostic Products, and Daktari Diagnostics CEO William Rodriguez. (Disclosure: I serve on the conference's advisory board.)

Here's the audio:

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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