An interview with Alexander Dahmani, co-founder and CEO of QuiO, about his start-up experience and being named Innovation Champion at the 2017 Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge.
How did you come up with the name, “QuiO”?
The word is a combination of liquid, quality and flow which refers to the innovation of creating smart and connected injection devices for better, more transparent delivery of injectable therapies. We like it because it doesn't refer to a specific product or technology. That allows us to build a brand and expand into new categories including software and services.
Describe your innovation.
Through QuiO, we’ve developed the first real-time, connected drug delivery device for injectable therapies. Our product, the Smartinjector™ One (Si One for short), is focused on expensive biologics—drugs that are injected once a day or once a week and treat diseases like Crohn’s, MS and inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
The Si One uses long-range wireless connectivity to deliver dosing data from the patient to medical professionals. It’s seamless, and doesn’t require any interaction from the patient. So, they use the device, and information about the injection—how much of the drug was administered and at what efficacy level—is sent to medical professionals. This feedback mechanism makes in-home treatments much safer and less daunting for patients.
How did you get the inspiration to begin developing it?
I was pursuing my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Columbia University when I had a eureka moment: I was reviewing the clinical data for a self-injected drug. Everyone projected that it would be a blockbuster so it was making headlines and gathering impressive data. Then I saw it was being commercialized in a glass syringe. And the thought occurred to me that even with a crown jewel therapy, the delivery system was antiquated. My partner and I used a 3D printer to create the original functional prototype. That printer ran day and night for 18 months until we got the result we needed.