Female-Founded Startup Announces Award of Prestigious Grant from Global Health Leader

Steradian Technologies Awarded Grant for Breath-Based Diagnostic Development from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Steradian Technologies receives a prestigious grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of their breath-based collection device for use with diagnostic testing systems.

Steradian Technologies is a biotech startup developing the RUMI – the first non-invasive, fully portable infectious disease diagnostic that costs the price of a latte. The RUMI uses novel photon-based detection to collect and diagnose infectious diseases in breath within 30-seconds. The device funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be the first human bio-aerosol specimen collector to convert breath into a fully sterile liquid sample, allowing for many applications in direct disease detection.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award and be recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a leader in global health. This funding will propel our work in creating deep-tech diagnostics and products to close the equity gap in global public health,” said Asma Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Steradian Technologies. “The RUMI will demonstrate that advanced technology can be delivered to all areas of the world, ensuring the Global South and economically exploited regions receive access to high-fidelity diagnostics instead of solutions that are ill-suited to the environment.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation award will fund the development of the RUMI’s bio-aerosol sample collector, allowing direct breath specimen collection with minimal loss and no cross-contamination at an accessible price point. Development of this portion of the RUMI will enable diagnostics to rapidly prevent and treat respiratory diseases, with a focus on COVID-19, influenza, and tuberculosis.

Until now, respiratory infectious diseases have been diagnosed through nasopharyngeal, sputum, saliva, and blood sample collection. However, the majority of respiratory infectious diseases spread through breath.

This novel technology could fundamentally shift how healthcare diagnoses for respiratory diseases occur in the near future. Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Jerry Aguren, states, “Our technology collects the water vapor out of human breath in less than 30 seconds. The patient blows into a cartridge where their breath is guided through a directed path, in which water vapor is aggregated using specific temperature-controlled surface coatings and textures.”

“As the healthcare industry continues to pursue less invasive diagnostics, we are very excited that the foundation has identified our approach to breath-based sample collection as a standout worthy of their support,” John Marino, Chief of Product Dev and co-founder. “We look forward to working with them to achieve our goals of better, faster, and safer diagnostics.”

About Steradian Technologies, Inc.

Steradian Technologies is a biotech startup dedicated to creating deep-tech diagnostics solutions using photon-based technology. They are funded and supported by XPRIZE, Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative, JLABS TMCi, Capital Factory, Duke Institute of Global Health, and Johnson & Johnson’s Center for Device Innovation. To learn more, please visit

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.

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