Customer experiences

NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre Experience

A. S. Januszewski MD, PhD, MClinTRes and Prof. A. Jenkins MBBS MD FRACP FRCP
NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Australia

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Tricorder? For those who are not Star Trek fans and may otherwise pause reading to ‘google’it, the Tricorder was a fictional medical device that could (among other things) make detailed assessments of a person’s health status by scanning the patient’s skin. No, DiagnOptics does not yet make Tricoders, but they are moving in that direction. The skin AGE readers assess skin autofluorescence, which can be regarded as a measure of biologic age.

Our first experience with the AGE Readers was as clinical researchers at the University of Melbourne in 2005. Back then we were using Windows XP and MSOffice 2003 and the then beta testing unit was a black bakelite-looking material, reminiscent of the old dial phones of our youth, the nostalgia of which made us like it immediately. Fast forward to 2018 and we are using both desktop (SU) and portable (MU) versions of the AGE Reader in our clinical research in adult and paediatric patients in Australia and overseas.  In between we have published original research data demonstrating that in non-diabetic and in Type 2 diabetic adults higher skin autofluorescence is associated with worse blood vessel function, a precursor of atherosclerosis.  We have also published papers showing increased skin autofluoresence in Type 1 diabetic patients with vs. without early diabetic complications, such as diabetic kidney or eye damage.  In a recently completed study we have evaluated skin autofluorence in hundreds of non-diabetic and Type 1 diabetes children and adults across eight decades of age.  We find increased skin autofluorescence in those with early diabetes complications. Other researchers have shown such changes are predictive of future heart attacks and of death.  We believe that skin autofluorescence may help identify people with diabetes with or at high risk of complications and help monitor their response to treatments. It may help us deliver personalised medicine. 

The AGE Reader has helped five of our PhD students complete their medical research degrees.  Four of our international colleagues have also started using the SkinAGE Reader in their research programs.  The Company has always provided us with excellent technical support and advice. 

Perhaps one day DiagnOptics will deliver a Tricoder – afterall, other devices on Star Trek have come into existence.


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