Our Approach

[Acumen n Quickness, accuracy, and ability to discriminate and show good judgement.]

Acumen Detection, LLC provides the capabilities that ensure quick, accurate determination of contamination or infection where the knowledge is needed: on the farm, in the field, at the processing plant.

We leveraged our experience developing high performance, compact, rugged, easy-to-use chemical and biological defense systems for the military to provide a revolutionary new set of capabilities for food producers and processors; that is, Point of Need (PoN) detection of pathogens and toxins.

Our objective is to dramatically reduce the delays and costs that are caused by dependence on centralized laboratory testing. PoN detection will identify the specific cause of diseases like mastitis at the farm, and in about two hours so accurate, immediate treatment decisions can be made and revenue losses reduced. Food contamination testing can take place at any point along the production, transportation, processing and distribution chain to identify contaminated product before it reaches consumers

Our Mission:

Acumen Detection's mission is to develop and produce affordable, easy-to-use, accurate identification systems that provide actionable information to first responders, farmers and food processors within one to six hours, in the field, on the farm, in the processing facility and at any other point in the farm-to-consumer chain. This new paradigm will enable identification of threats, contaminated food products before they ship to protect the public’s health and the producers’ livelihoods, and faster, more rational treatment decisions to promote animal welfare, reduced antibiotic use, and improved farm revenue.

Our Approach:

The team at Acumen Detection has decades of experience developing low-cost, rugged, easy-to-use solutions for those who work under some of the most stressful conditions; that is, our military and first responders.

We have learned from that experience that you have to design your system around the people that will use it; the operator is always at the center of our solution. Our systems provide lab-quality results without the need for highly trained technicians and expensive facilities. We use easily understood graphics and multi-lingual audio in our user interfaces to eliminate the need for training. Every step is controlled to ensure samples are accurately associated with specific animals or food lots, that the correct tests are done (and done correctly!), and that test results are then accurately and automatically transferred to management databases. We even incorporate unique animal identification and tracking technologies into our system so that an animal needing treatment or removal from the herd can be easily identified. All of these capabilities are integrated into our low-cost detection system.

The benefit of the solution has to outweigh its cost, and here is where Acumen Detection has spent a significant amount of time, money and effort. PCR technology is the state-of-the-art for sensitive, accurate identification of pathogens, but conventional PCR can be shut down by soil, salts, and food matrices like milk. For conventional PCR, samples have to go through a clean-up step that can take up to an hour, and consume expensive materials. Our PCR assays (i.e., identification chemistries) are formulated to be tolerant of these materials, and so sample clean-up costs are slashed. Our assays are also formulated for extremely long shelf life. They can be stored at room temperatures for two years, and can even tolerate storage at 120°F (50°C) for up to 3 months. This means people working in the field or on the farm don’t have to worry about keeping the chemistries refrigerated, and stocks don’t have to be turned over every year.

Perhaps most importantly, we listen – really listen – to what our customers say they need. We go to the experts, the first-line workers and the farmers (and sometimes, they’re all the same person) to learn what their challenges are, and what they need to improve their performance. We can come up with great solutions, but if the solution doesn’t fit the need, it isn’t worth much. That’s why we spend a lot of time throughout the development process to make sure that we are delivering relevant, useful capabilities.

Finally, we have the courage to take the unconventional approaches that other technology companies believe are too hard to do. Game-changing solutions only come from those who dare to take chances, think outside the box, and put passion and commitment into creating the solution – that’s Acumen Detection.