The swine flu pandemic of 2009 provided the impetus to found Ellume. I was working as a doctor in a busy emergency department where scores of people were presenting wanting to know if they had flu and, if so, what could be done to manage it. Laboratory tests were taking days to return results and the available rapid tests were lacked accuracy, so clinicians were forced to make treatment decisions without a reliable biological diagnosis. Unwarranted prescribing of both antivirals and antibiotics was essentially unavoidable, as was inappropriate non-prescribing for influenza infected patients. There was clearly an unmet and critical need for a faster, simpler, reliable way to diagnose and manage influenza.
The technology Ellume developed to meet this unmet need evolved over several years and consists of several layers of innovation (described in ‘Our Technology’). Investment in the core science has been significant and has resulted in multiple patent families with supporting national-phase applications. Around this core science we’ve wrapped simple, intuitive user interfaces with smart-device connectivity to create unique products.