The EB platform can be used in a wide range of drug detection, health monitoring and medical diagnostics applications. New application areas can be enabled with EB and improvements to existing testing can be achieved. For example:
Unattended sample collection – A donor provides an EB sample whilst being monitored remotely by the collector, via a video call, using a platform such as Skype. The time and cost saving benefits of such an unattended sample collection procedure are considerable. In the case of doping control, a remotely monitored sample collection procedure for urine sampling might not be considered acceptable due to donor privacy issues.
Testing of student-athletes – Health education programs and substance abuse prevention training as well as testing of young athletes is a requirement for many amateur sports organisations within high schools, colleges, clubs, academies and training camps. There is a need for new test methods to more cost-effectively detect and deter the use of banned and illegal substances. Urine sampling may not be considered appropriate for such a program since a specimen may need to be collected in private, and under adult surveillance. However, a non-intrusive sample collection method, such as EB, can overcome concerns regarding donor privacy and thereby enable more effective health screening and drug detection, deterrence and prevention programs, at every level of sport.
Personalised therapies and care management – EB can improve health monitoring and patient care by enabling self-administered home-based specimen collection. This will transform the management of respiratory diseases, such as COPD, with targeted treatment leading to more effective medication programs and the ability to frequently and conveniently monitor patterns remotely to predict flare-ups/exacerbations. In addition, this can be achieved whilst saving time and costs for patients and their healthcare providers.
Detecting performance-enhancing drugs – A possible disadvantage of urine testing in sports, is the detection window time lag for certain classes of drugs, such as stimulants, which may have been used by athletes during a competitive event. However, the detection window of EB closely mimics that of blood, therefore EB may be a more suitable biomatrix to detect the presence of intact drugs in an athletes bloodstream at the time of a competition. Urine can usually only detect the 1st or 2nd phase metabolites of drugs.