Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Detector of early allergic reactions during diagnostic challenge tests for food and drugs.

Posted by Universidad de Alcalá-OTRIResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

GEINTRA is a research group from the Department of electronic of the University of Alcala. One of its research areas is the analysis of biomedical. The algorithm obtained allows detecting in an early stage the appearance of allergic reactions during the exposure or provocation test are made in a hospital. This system is based on the measurement of the heart rate variability. With this methodology the time of exposure to the tests is reduced therefore the stress for the patient decreases. The group is looking for companies working in the health sector to achieve technical cooperation and manufacturing agreements or commercial agreements with technical cooperation.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI
Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

New and innovative aspects

Currently does not exist any system which allows forecasting allergic reaction appearance during the exposure or provocation test are made. Only the careful observation of the medical staff involved in the test can detect the first signs of a possible reaction, ensuring an early treatment for patients’ safety.

The fact of having a device which can generate an alarm when it detects a reaction, even before the appearance of visible reactions, increases exponentially the safety of the patient. The system provides a closer control of the patient, decreasing the possibility of severe reactions and more autonomy for the medical staff. 

Main advantages of its use

Companies that could incorporate this technology are hospitals with allergy diagnosis services. The detector designed is able to reduce the time of provocation tests currently underway, as well as necessary doses for the allergy detection. That means a decrease in patient stress and the reduction of medical costs. 


The research groups has developed a new algorithm bases on the measurement of the heart rate variability which allows generating alarms before the appearance of allergic reactions to foods or medications during provocation and exposure tests.

The algorithm has been previously validated by researchers from the University College Cork (Ireland), using a sample of 24 children. The tests established that 15 of them were allergic. The diagnostic made by the proposed algorithm classified, in an offline manner, 9/9 patients as non allergic (100% specifity) and 14/15 as allergic (93.33% sensitivity). By using the proposed algorithm it was checked that the exposure and provocation tests could be reduced its duration an average of 46 minutes per patient. Also the number of doses per patient could be reduced an average of 2.46. Currently the team is making clinical trials in a hospital to validate the algorithm. They are using a larger amount of patients including adults and children in their tests.

Furthermore, the development of a hardware system which automatically detects allergic reaction appearances is almost finished. This device will be a portable system, wireless connected with a principal computer. The system will allow having a data base with all patient information. Also, the patient will be monitored after the Tests to evaluate the appearance of late allergic reactions.

The developed sensor system cannot replace medical assessment, but certainly it is helpful to prevent the occurrence of severe allergic reactions.

The figures show the algorithm results for two patients. The first one is allergic ( Figure 1): the vertical red lines indicate the time instant in which the algorithm informs about the possible appeareance of allergic reactions (In this case, the duration of the test was reduced in around 44 minutes). Figure 2 shows a non-allergic patient case (in any time the algorithm generates alarms).   


  • Detection in an early stage the appearance of allergic reactions during the exposure or provocation test are made in a hospital
  • In Public and private hospitals with allergic services.

Intellectual property status

Secret know how

Current development status

Development phase

Desired business relationship

Commercial agreement with technical assistance

Manufacturing agreement

Technical cooperation

Related keywords

  • Applications for Health
  • Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods
  • Diagnostics, Diagnosis
  • Detection and Analysis methods
  • Medical/health
  • Diagnostic services
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Anatomy, Pathology, Immunology, Physiology
  • provocation tests
  • heart rate variability
  • Food allergy
  • drug allergy.

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

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