"I'm always looking for improvements"
Hector Roldan is a biomedical scientist who has discovered methods for cutting analysis times and increasing analysis volumes.
Hector Roldan works in bacteriology and analyses samples from patients with suspected bacterial infections. He has always been interested in the question of how to manage the analysis of large volumes (in large hospital laboratories) without compromising on quality.
"I'm always looking for improvements, and I'm really pleased if it turns out that working procedures can be changed for the better."
As evidence of this approach, Hector was awarded Karolinska University Hospital's Karolina Prize for outstanding ideas in 1998 for his modified method of managing large volumes of nasal samples. The new method reduces the number of steps required to culture the samples, saving the county council both time and materials.
His most recent innovation, however, is even more significant. It involves tests for detecting MRSA bacteria, the highly resistant bacteria that cause hospital-contracted infections and are a major problem for healthcare authorities around the world. Reducing the time required to analyse samples could lead to major economic gains and a dramatic reduction in human suffering. Hector's innovation, which could shorten the process from its current duration of a few days to eight hours, therefore has considerable commercial potential.
"The key to the invention is that it simplifies the preanalytical process, and the sample is essentially ready for analysis as soon as it is taken." explains Hector.
Hector's method and sampling equipment are currently being patented. He has an agreement with Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB, and he has documentary evidence to support his rights to the idea when, as is hoped, it reaches the market in the near future.
Hector's advice to other innovators
- Check that your idea does not overlap with something that already exists. Continue working on your idea if it has an advantage over what already exists.
- Try to establish a network of people with expertise at an early stage. Choose carefully whom you decide to trust. Avoid getting involved with over-cautious, negative or uninterested people.
- If you reach the stage when you are working with designers and possible manufacturers, make sure that they sign a confidentiality agreement. This is vital!
|Education||Biomedical science, Stockholm 1988|
|Employed||Licensed biomedical scientist in clinical microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, and inventor.|
Text: Unit for Bioentrepreneurship, 2009
Photo: Camilla Svensk