About Us

Our Mission

Provide low cost solutions to prevent kernicterus in low resource countries

Our History

Bilimetrix USA was founded by Richard Wennberg, MD in 2012 in partnership with Bilimetrix srl in Trieste, Italy, where Dr Wennberg collaborated with Claudio Tiribelli, MD Phd and Carlos Zabetta-Coda, PhD to develop the Bilistick, a point of care bilirubin assay using a plasma/blood cell separator and a reflectance reader.  While validating the system in Nigeria, the limitations of bilirubin measurement for making treatment decisions became apparent. Infants with kernicterus were admitted because they were sick, not because they had jaundice and often too late to benefit from treatment.

The critical importance of maternal education about jaundice in fostering early care seeking was confirmed by a marked decrease in bilirubin encephalopathy associated with training mothers about the risks of jaundice, a study conducted by our partners in Nigeria (Journal of Pediatrics, 2020;221:47-54). The study also exposed the need to evaluate bilirubin levels in rural communities, and this led to the development of the BiliPic, a smartphone color based estimation of the bilirubin level that avoided the more costly BiliStick reader. The BiliPic app has added features of providing guidelines for care, access to instructional material for parents and health workers, and data sharing via telemetry with treatment centers and investigators.

Future Goals

Bilimetrix USA is developing by itself or through collaboration with established and start up companies in the United States and Nigeria instruments that may be incorporated in our digital data acquisition and analysis system (Stop Kernicterus International).  These include a smartphone based:

  • G6PD assay

  • Semi-quantitative icterometer

  • Irradiance meter to monitor phototherapy units

Partners & Collaborators

Bilimetrix USA partners with

 

  • Stop Kernicterus in Northern Nigeria (SKINN), a consortium of University Pediatric Departments 

    • Jos University, Jos, Nigeria

    • Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

    • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

  • Bilimetrix srl, Trieste, Italy

  • Parents of children with Kernicterus (Pic-K), USA

  • Arbor Grace, Inc., USA

We also seek to partner with African manufacturers of low cost battery supported LED based phototherapy units, and filtered sunlight phototherapy.