During a recent tour of some of the Cincinnati area life science companies, we had a chance to visit Genetesis, a firm in nearby Mason that has developed a novel scanner to help diagnose the source of chest pain. Aside from the innovative technology behind the equipment, what’s notable about this startup is that founder and CEO Peeyush Shrivastava started the company five years ago – when he was only 17!
Peeyush shared with us that the genesis for Genetesis started when he had the opportunity to intern at an Ohio State University research lab as a high school student. While at OSU, he conducted research on the magnetic properties of cardiac cells. Realizing that the sensor technology he helped to develop could potentially be scaled up to be clinically useful, he started the company and ran it with a couple of old friends from high school while a freshman at Ohio State. He eventually dropped out during his sophomore year to focus full-time on Genetesis.
Genetesis’ device, called CardioFlux, is a body scanner that utilizes magnetocardiography (MCG) technology that measures the tiny magnetic fields naturally generated by the heart. While it may look similar to an MRI, CardioFlux doesn’t involve emit of a magnetic field. There isn’t any intimidating banging or humming noises typical of MRI machines, and the scan takes a mere 90 seconds to complete. The data from CardioFlux is transmitted to Genetesis’ Faraday Analytical Cloud system that uses AI and machine learning to analyze it, and within minutes, a report with dynamic, functional imaging of the heart is generated for the clinician. Compared to the current standard of care, which involves hours of observation followed by an ECG stress test, CardioFlux is significantly more comfortable for patients, less costly overall, and has even been shown to be more accurate than ECG.
Technology aside, Peeyush gushed as he talked about the outpouring of support he’s received. Various departments within the city of Mason and the greater Cincinnati region, as well as executives from other medical technology companies in the area, have come along side him to give advice and help him network. His company has attracted the attention of graphics chipmaker NVidia and the Thiel Fellowship. Businessman and “shark” Mark Cuban is one of Genetesis’ loyal investors. Peeyush shared that once the system receives FDA approval, targeted for later this year, the sky’s the limit in terms of clinical potential. The company is already looking into using MCG to monitor for fetal arrhythmias and some other notable diseases.
It just goes to show to not peg a high schooler with a vision until you’ve heard his elevator pitch and seen his business plan!
More info: Genetesis website…