While working in clinical laboratories during the start of his career, Dr. Bassam El-Fahmawi’s daughter was diagnosed with meningitis while still only two years old. She had to undergo many blood tests, but it was very difficult for doctors to collect blood samples due to her narrow and fragile veins. It was even harder for her parents to helplessly watch her endure repeated painful blood draws and collapsing veins. At a certain point of her therapy, there were no more veins available for sampling and drug administration, which forced her doctor to insert a cannula above her ankle as a last resort. It was then that Dr. El-Fahmawi became determined to develop a better way to collect samples that involved less invasive methods, so other children and parents could possibly be spared this trauma. After nearly a decade of focused effort and much trial and error, Dr. El-Fahmawi realized his vision and was able to develop and commercialize the iSWAB sample collection system and founded Mawi DNA Technologies.

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