As Dale Fox, Founder and CEO of Tribogenics, says: "X-rays are one of the most important diagnostic tools in all of medicine," used for a variety of medical needs including cancer research and identifying broken bones.
X-rays are also useful in a number of non-medical fields like industrial radiography, which evaluates the quality of metals and materials used for construction and engineering, making them extremely valuable across multiple industries.
But because X-ray technology and processes have remained pretty much the same for 100 years, they are still expensive, bulky, and not at all portable. This means that nearly three billion people around the globe don't have access to technology that could save their lives.
In 2008 a group of scientists at UCLA (including Tribogenics co-founder Carlos Camara) made a fundamental, once-in-a-generation breakthrough in physics research, harnessing the power of static electricity to make X-rays. And soon after that, the seeds of Tribogenics' X-ray innovation were sown.
Realizing that this breakthrough would enable X-ray imaging machines to become vastly more portable, safer, and more cost-efficient, Tribogenics engaged Boombang to help map the go-to market opportunity. Specifically, the charge was to miniaturize the X-ray source and fit the whole system into an XRF handheld device to establish proof of the concept.
In 2016, Boombang completed the design for the M1, an X-ray machine 1/20th of the cost and 1/10th of the size of typical machines that run on small, inexpensive, easily sourced 12-volt battery power.
Boombang also assisted Tribogenics in developing the Mustang rechargeable X-ray source and Watson, the world’s first mobile digital imaging system, or MODIS. Watson was a first of its kind, affordable, easy-to-use XRF device for alloy identification—allowing scientists, jewelers, recyclers, and manufacturers to analyze and positively identify hundreds of metals in mere seconds.
Additionally, Boombang was integral in conducting ergonomic studies, coordinating with engineers, identifying and establishing relationships with vendors, overseeing manufacturing, and managing the supply chain.
As a result of this partnership, Boombang played an instrumental role in helping Tribogenics secure $20 million in Series B financing and create a sellable low-cost, state-of-the-art miniature X-ray device.