Posted: Tuesday July 30, 2019
When your product attracts the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation it’s pretty clear you’re on to something.
Dunedin-based agritech company Techion is better known for measuring parasites in livestock. Now its technology is also helping to manage disease among children in developing countries.
Starworms is a global project funded by the Gates Foundation aimed at eliminating and controlling intestinal parasites in people. Large scale de-worming programmes are underway, but there is a risk of the worms developing resistance.
In the same way that it’s helping farmers to know when to drench and worm their animals and how much treatment to use, Techion’s internet connected, image-based diagnostic testing tools are also aiding human health.
It’s part of the worldwide ‘One Health’ approach which recognises the interaction between animal and human diseases, Techion founder Greg Mirams says.
“We got brought in because of our success with animals,” he says. “That’s how a little company from Dunedin which has been testing sheep poop for years ended up as part of the Gates Foundation.”
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