Today we’re proud to announce that a life-changing invention to detect disease using a smartphone has won our inaugural MIAT Prize, scooping £30,000 in development funding as part of our first innovation competition.

The award went to iVisco, invented by Dr Arslan Khalid of Scottish start-up Mobi Dx.

His revolutionary device allows point-of-care diagnostics for early detection of diseases by profiling a single droplet of blood on a smartphone. iVisco measures blood clotting time using acoustic fields and promises to be a game-changer in developing nations.

The MIAT Prize takes the form of Research & Development expertise to get the exciting product to market.

Mobi DxAt the awards ceremony at Santander’s London headquarters, Arslan said: “Winning this prize means everything to me. I’ve been working on iVisco for four years and finally amazing things are happening. Morgan’s R&D expertise will be crucial to getting it to market. Their input is worth more than money to me.”

The inventor, who obtained his PhD at Glasgow University last month, was inspired by the plight of people in rural population of Pakistan, where he said everyone has a smartphone but no access to clinics.

Second prize of £10,000 of Research & Development support went to ThinAir, a biomembrane that rapidly condenses water from the atmosphere – and was inspired by a beetle. The brainchild of students from Imperial College London, its mission is to provide a safe, sustainable water source that is accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Risley said: “This prize enables us to tap into Morgan IAT’s brilliant engineering expertise to help us scale up ThinAir.” The membrane was inspired by the African Fogstand beetle’s ability to condense water and mimics the structure and chemistry of it surface.

Judge Dr Mike Short CBE, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department for International Trade, said of iVisco: “It clearly addresses an unmet need and brilliantly integrates smartphone, internet and point-of-care diagnostics technology for blood clotting.

“Arslan’s resilience in bringing all these technologies together has already shown great progress and is clearly aimed at a major growth market with international appeal – many countries just do not have the clinicians, labs or refrigeration often needed with other more expensive test solutions. Point-of-care testing offers broader access to field diagnostics and healthcare, and the prospect of more immediate feedback to patients facing such difficult conditions.”