Public health crises, now no longer just plot points of Hollywood thrillers, are prompting the need to establish detection methods that can quickly and reliably diagnose these threats. French start-up Elvesys recently introduced what it claimed is the world's fastest pathogen detection platform to inexpensively diagnose patients.

Fastgene detects any pathogenic agent in a drop of blood or saliva. Using Fastgene, healthcare workers can detect Ebola in six minutes and anthrax in seven minutes, which is respectively 7 and 14 times faster than the world’s best current technologies, according to the company. The Fastgene diagnostic system is based on the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a molecular test that detect bacterial and viruses DNA. It uses a patented microfluidic thermalisation technique using both the relevant advantages of microfluidic chips and Elveflow high performance pressure controllers.

Elvesys's work is powered by National Instruments' USB-6003 multifunction DAQ device and LabVIEW software.