As part of our partnership with MassChallenge, we help support startups through Microsoft software, mentorship, networking, and more. With the launch of PULSE@MassChallenge, an incubator for digital health startups, in 2016, we’re excited to take our partnership one step further and support innovations in healthcare. Through PULSE, we are partnering with four digital health startups this year, providing resources to drive the healthcare space forward through technology.
Below, we spotlight PULSE startup Day Zero Diagnostics, a company that uses genome sequencing with machine learning to prevent antibiotic resistance.
What is your startup’s mission?
Day Zero Diagnostics is using whole genome sequencing and machine learning to change the way severe infections are diagnosed and treated – an urgent problem in an age of rising antibiotic resistance.
Give us your elevator pitch in 280 characters or less.
The growth of antibiotic resistance is causing a public health crisis. DZD provides physicians with the ability to profile the resistance in an infection and treat patients with the most effective drug in hours rather than days, a difference associated with a radical reduction in mortality rates and costs.
How are you using technology to empower others?
We are making genome level data available and useful to clinicians in the everyday treatment of patients. To make that possible, we are developing a proprietary method to process clinical samples for DNA sequencing and an ML model for predicting resistance to antibiotics based on that genomic data.
Why did you apply to Pulse at MassChallenge?
We were looking to tap into a program that combined customer-oriented access to healthcare decision makers and a community of digitally sophisticated entrepreneurs. The structure of the program, particularly the focus on deep engagement with Champions, provides us with both.
How is Microsoft helping you further your mission?
The Microsoft team has been helping for longer than you know. Our CTO, Miriam Huntley, interned at Microsoft Research during her PhD program! As a part of PULSE, Microsoft has already helped us tap into the BizSpark program to support our computational work. In addition, we look forward to taking advantage of the AI and genomics expertise at Microsoft through the formation of a Technical Advisory Board during the PULSE program.
What is your favorite part of Day Zero Diagnostics?
We are inspired by our ambitious mission: to do nothing short of changing the way that physicians triage patients with deadly infections, a problem reaching crisis levels due to the rise of antibiotic resistance. This mission is fundamental to who we are. Throughout the life of our company, we have had to make choices about how we develop our technology. In those moments, we always come back to our goal of solving what we see as the most pressing unmet clinical need. In some cases, that has meant taking on much harder development challenges but we believe that our focus on the unmet need is critical to our success.
What does the term “health tech” mean to you?
For our company, “health tech” is the application of technology to solve issues in the treatment of patients. There are of course lots of other components of “health tech” that others may focus on such as operations and patient information systems. But for our team, the focus on the use of technology to impact clinical decision making is what drives our definition of “health tech.”