Technological advancement has substantially improved the delivery of high-quality, on-time, satisfactory, and economical healthcare. Among these developments have been nanoscience advancements that have enabled the emergence of a new generation of nanostructures. Each has a distinct set of traits that account for astounding applicability.
In fact, nanotechnology has had an ongoing impact on healthcare and has significantly influenced its evolution, contributing to better outcomes. Over the previous two decades, the world has witnessed nanotechnology progress toward omnipresence, which has been hastened by substantial research in several healthcare industries.
In an interview, we spoke to Florida-based firm Kismet Technologies, a pioneer in harnessing the power of nanotechnology through its flagship product NanoRAD. Co-Founder Christina Drake’s vision was to create a material solution that would help people live healthier and safer lives. “The idea for a novel type of surface coating that would keep surfaces self-disinfected was born during the start of the pandemic, and as the business grew, I knew that I needed a co-founder. I was very fortunate to meet Shari, who has previous experience in healthcare with her international nurse staffing company. Nanotechnology has immense potential to improve applications in healthcare as it can be engineered more specifically to mimic what nature already does and can be specifically targeted. For example, NanoRad produces hydrogen peroxide, which is great at disinfecting, but it only does so when it sees a bacteria or virus, making it a very targeted, specific application that makes our product very safe,” she explains.
Despite nanotechnology’s various applications in healthcare, some challenges remain in the form of misconceptions. These are primarily centred around understanding what nanotechnology is and the risks associated with it.
Drake explains that nanotechnology has existed in nature for as long as the earth has been in existence, but humans could not really observe and study nanotechnology until the 1980s when instruments became available where we could see them. “Many biological processes happen at the nanoscale. For example, many viruses are nanosised, such as rhinovirus and norovirus. The uniqueness of nanotechnology is the ability to engineer certain desired properties or functions that are not available for larger-scale materials. For NanoRAD, we were able to engineer the surface properties of the nanoparticles to produce hydrogen peroxide very rapidly in the presence of bacteria and viruses,” she says.
Co-Founder Shari Costanini adds that healthcare is better positioned to understand the significant impact the technology in NanoRAD will have on eradicating the bacteria and viruses that cause healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). “The healthcare industry is highly motivated to address the costly issue of HAIs, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when the vast majority of healthcare facilities took a step back in reducing the percentage of patients that acquire and die from HAIs,” she emphasises.
When asked about the challenges faced by scientists in the field when it comes to funding and their thoughts on platforms such as the Innov8 Talks competition hosted by Informa Markets - Healthcare being key in supporting tech/health tech entrepreneurs, Drake highlights that hardware technology in health and life sciences and the upfront cost and time to get a prototype product vetted, can scare off investors. “Platforms such as Innov8 are good avenues for vetting which early-stage technologies have the ability to transform healthcare from a panel of investors, medical professionals, and other healthcare companies. This can help to de-risk the feasibility of products from early-stage companies by having an evaluation done from different perspectives against other health tech companies,” she states.
It is only the beginning of Kismet’s journey when it comes to expansion within healthcare and beyond as they embark on high-value pilots in healthcare and the cruise industry. “We are setting up manufacturing operations in Orlando, Florida, and anticipate a very successful 2023. We are always looking for partnerships and investors to join us on our journey to change the way the world disinfects,” says Drake.