Dr. Dale Athey

Dr. Dale Athey is CEO and Founder of OJ-Bio Ltd, a joint venture that develops a range of smartphone connected devices that enable laboratory quality testing outside of the traditional laboratory setting.  

He began his career as a clinical biochemist in the UK National Health Service, and gained then over 20 years industrial experience in the medical diagnostics industry. 
In 2002, he co-founded the nanobiotechnology company Orla Protein Technologies Ltd.

He holds a master’s degree in Clinical Biochemistry, a PhD in immunoassay from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and a MBA from the Open University, UK.

With the convergence of electronics, biology and mobile technologies, nowhere is the transformative potential of rapid point of care testing better illustrated than in the challenge to overcome antibiotic resistance. It is widely acknowledged that growing resistance to antibiotics poses a global health threat. The World Health Organisation has said that our ability to treat infections that were once believed to be under control is now at risk and a ‘post-antibiotic era’ is becoming a real possibility for the 21 st century. On the same theme, the latest report from the Review of Antimicrobial Resistance* (AMR) highlighted a study in the USA that found that more than two-thirds of courses of antibiotics were likely to have been inappropriately prescribed. This amounted to 27 million courses of antibiotics being wasted each year in just one set of indications and in only one country. Against this background there is now widespread recognition that new point of care diagnostic technology can play a leading role in finding a solution to this problem. Central to this aim is the need to fundamentally change the prescribing habits of doctors and the expectations of patients – and advanced technology to address this specific requirement is well on the way to becoming a reality as new rapid diagnostic technology will change the way we use antibiotics today. As an example I can cite the new biosensor diagnostic technology from OJ Bio, which uses specially developed nano-proteins incorporated on electronic biochips to detect the presence of a disease. When a biological sample is applied to the biochip, the presence of a target biomarker causes an electronic signal to be generated. This is then converted into a test result and displayed on a complementary smartphone app or PC-based program. Simple to use, accurate and capable of delivering a test...