Hult Prize Finalist Trains Bees To Diagnose Disease (Really!)
Hult Prize finalist Bee Healthy is looking to revolutionize medical diagnostics by training bees to smell chemical indicators of disease.
Founder Tobias Hortsmann explains that “Every disease leaves a unique "footprint” of chemical biomarkers on a persons breath.“ He adds, ”Bees are 10,000 times more sensitive to chemicals in the air than humans.“
He notes that, "Bees can be trained to react to certain biomarkers that are indicative for a disease. They would stick out their tongue when they identify a certain biomarker on a persons breath.”
More remarkable, perhaps, than that bees’ sense of smell is that, according to Tobias, “Training a bee takes around 10 minutes and works like the typical classical conditioning (pavlovian conditioning).”
On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Tobias will join me for a live discussion about Bee Healthy. Obviously, you don’t want to miss this one!
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More about Bee Healthy:
Bee Healthy is using bees to revolutionize disease detection.
Bee Healthy is an innovative solution to disease screening. The team will harness the power of bees´ olfactory system to screen diseases such as diabetes, cancer and tuberculosis on a person’s breath. This is a cheap, easy and on the spot solution to disease screening, which can otherwise be costly and time intense. Bee Healthy will sell subscriptions of devices with trained bees to organizations that conduct disease screening. This allows existing organizations to drastically increase their outreach and to screen for various diseases at the same time.
Tobias Horstmann (German) spent a year after graduating high school in Mexico-City working as an educator and street worker with Street Children. This experience left its marks on his future plans, which have since consisted of tackling social and environmental issues through changes in business. To achieve this, Tobias pursued an international management education and earned a BSc from both the European School of Business in Germany and ICADE in Spain. To be proactive and to gain practical experience, Tobias worked both in the corporate world at Google and in the social entrepreneurship sector at Ashoka. In addition to this, Tobias co-founded a sustainable development conference. Currently, Tobias is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development at HEC Paris.
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