Team:Queens Canada/Market

Market Direction Analysis


Following our interview series, we reflected on all the insight we had gained from the various experts, parents, and community members. We came to the conclusion, that the use of the diagnostic pacifier device, was perhaps not best fit in the hands of all parents, because they may lack the scientific literacy to properly interpret fluctuations in their child's hormone levels. Additionally we received specific feedback on our pacifiers design and implemented the experts advice into our next iteration of the design seen here.

Ultimately, we weighed impact and feasibility in our design and proposed the following strategy for our device, detailed in the graphic below. Most immediately, the technology we worked on developing this year could be best utilized by researchers for the immediate quantification of hormones in samples, following appropriate testing and clinical trials this device could benefit researchers as a non-invasive method of measuring salivary analytes. After the product has gained validation by clinicans, we would hope that the device could be used for non-verbally expressive individuals, such as those suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders to gauge well-being. Additionally, this device may have application in those suffering from neurodegenerative disease as a tool to gauge their well-being. Lastly, if the device is approved for such an indication, it may benefit wider audiences to track hormone levels and gain greater visibility to their endocrine health.

Market Direction Analysis Summary

Use by parents to monitor child’s stress levels and general well-being

  • Can remove any communication barriers between parent and child
  • Ability to measure Δ cortisol could be useful in evaluating changes over time
  • Useful in the early detection of illness and prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Continual monitoring may lead to more anxiety in parents
  • Expensive technology
  • Difficulties in establishing a baseline
  • Knowing the information does not have a substantial effect; minimal chance for intervention

Used as a diagnostic tool in clinical settings

  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Instant results could facilitate faster diagnosis leading to earlier intervention
  • Could aid in current diagnostic test of endocrine disorders, The Dexamethasone Suppression test, for
  • Could help reduce extensive wait times in clinics or Emergency Room (ER)
  • Little training required to operate.
  • Concerns about biomarkers in saliva being as accurate as plasma samples
  • Sensitivity and specificity must be very high for proper diagnosis

Use in monitoring treatment in clinical settings

  • Non-invasive method Instant and ongoing surveillance
  • Could be used to evaluate metabolism of hormone
  • Help to determine personalised treatment plan and dosage
  • Could be useful in determining effectiveness of a treatment
  • Concerns about biomarkers in saliva being as accurate as plasma samples
  • Expensive to replace cartridges

Used in research studies to monitor levels of specific biomarker(s) in saliva

  • Could replace disruptive method of salivary collection
  • Could reveal critical information missed in current studies
  • Easier to complete studies with young children and infants
  • Would need different designs that don’t interrupt the studies and are less noticeable
  • Would need different designs to use in studies with people of all ages
  • Must be incredibly sensitive and specific for the desired biomarker