SomaDetect’s mission is to provide dairy farmers with the information they need to produce the highest quality milk with the resources we have today, for a more sustainable dairy food system.
Throughout the past decade, ‘big data’ approaches have been applied to agricultural problems like never before. Today, you can buy sensors to put on cows and within their environment – on their necks to measure chewing, on their tails to measure wagging, above the barn to observe their movements, and everywhere in between. While some of these systems may be helpful, many of them inundate farmers with circumstantial data without providing the metrics that matter most.
SomaDetect is different. SomaDetect is working with farmers to provide them with the information they want and need, in formats they can use. Using SomaDetect’s technology dairy farmers gain access to real-time analytics of milk quality and herd health indicators from every cow at every milking. This is human-centred-design with cows and their caretakers in mind. This is better data for farmers to make informed decisions. This is better milk for consumers who demand healthy and nutritious foods. This is better lives for cows who rely on farmers to keep them healthy and free of diseases. This is the future of dairy.
Origin of SomaDetect
The sensor technology that underlies SomaDetect was invented by Satish Deshpande, throughout a lifetime of diligent work and persistence. Dr. S. Deshpande graduated with a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Guelph in 1987, and founded SpectraDigital Corporation in 1992.
It was through this company that he developed simple, easy-to-use, medical diagnostic tests for use in low-resource settings. In 2014, Dr. S. Deshpande accidentally discovered that he could measure fat content and somatic cells in milk while using consumer milk products to calibrate his device. SomaDetect would not be possible without the work of a careful scientist, and decades of support from business and medical leaders in Guelph, Ontario.
SomaDetect Inc. was established in July 2016 by Dr. Bethany Deshpande. With a strong foundation in science, experimentation, and entrepreneurship, Bethany set out to commercialize the technology developed by her dad over the past several decades. Bethany rapidly recruited Nicholas Clermont and Bharath Sudarsan to join the company, and together they began applying cutting-edge machine-learning and computer-vision techniques to analyze milk samples. Within a short period of time, the SomaDetect team realized that they could identify the presence of every major compound of interest in raw milk, and even quantify the materials.
SomaDetect represents a significant innovation within the dairy industry. Never before have farmers been able to access to the tools they need to monitor milk quality and herd health in real time. SomaDetect is poised to positively disrupt the dairy industry and reshape farming practices to build a more sustainable future.