Highbury tech company wins award with blood count device for cancer patients

Left to right: Lara Lewington of BBC Click, Millie Clive-Smith, co-founder of Affinity and Julia Man

Left to right: Lara Lewington of BBC Click, Millie Clive-Smith, co-founder of Affinity and Julia Manning, CEO of 2020health. Picture: Antony Medley - Credit: Archant

A Highbury start-up has won an award for its device which will allow people with cancer monitor their blood cell count from home.

Low blood counts are a common side effect of chemotherapy and a drop in white blood cells, which defend the body from infection, can be problematic.

Millie Clive-Smith and Toby Basey-Fisher – who work in Screenworks, Highbury Grove – have now come up with a simple way for people to keep tabs. It’s a device called Affinity, which they created two-and-a-half years ago.

It won’t be rolled out until next year, but the pair have already been recognised at the AXA PPP Health Tech and You Awards.

“It’s really fantastic for us,” said chief operating officer Millie. “The whole awards process has been brilliant for us to meet with companies and AXA.

“Our aim is for the device to be loaned to cancer patients at hospital.”

The device is easy to use. A simple finger prick test allows it to identify if the blood cell count is dropping.

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Judges said: “Affinity was a stand-out winner for us. The device packs an entire lab (well, almost) in a device as small as a mini-speaker.”

Before it is launched, the pair will release Aptus, an easy way for people to check if they have anaemia.

“The theme of our technology is to help people get access to blood tests,” added Millie. “We’ve been working in remote clinics in Africa and with groups in the UK.”

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