Spotlight: 908 Devices provides rapid, reliable chemical threat intelligence to ensure responder safety
The company's efforts ensure whenever a responder encounters a highly toxic and unknown threat, they can quickly gain insights to protect themselves and others
Company name: 908 Devices
Headquarters: Boston, Mass.
Signature Product: MX908 device
1. Where did your company name originate from?
Interestingly enough, naming the company was one of our company's biggest hurdles. 908 Devices refers to 0.908, the point of stability and instability within ion trap mass spectrometers – that's where the magic happens!
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Mass spec is a powerful technology and yet accessibility to this tool has been limited to laboratories. For police officers and first responders, every second counts, so we set out to make handheld and desktop mass spec devices that modernize chemical and biochemical analysis, and empower critical-to-life applications. By making mass spec technology portable, affordable and simple to operate, we're putting answers in the hands of the people who need it most.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
The MX908 is an easy-to-use device, purpose-built for trace detection and identification of chemical threats at the point of need. MX908 leverages high-pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS) to deliver dramatically enhanced sensitivity and broader threat category coverage. This handheld device increases mission support with unmatched flexibility and trace detection power for elite responders in drug, chemical, explosive and priority hazmat scenarios. With the enhanced selectivity of HPMS, users can conduct field analysis of unknown substances at trace levels to generate actionable intelligence in real time.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
Our mission is to provide rapid, reliable chemical threat intelligence to ensure public and responder safety. The MX908 enables our customers to address the threats they face every day, while keeping themselves safe. The MX908 is capable of detecting and identifying a broad range of threat categories at trace levels – making it an ideal tool for first responders.
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted so much, but it also taught us the importance of accessibility with fast and accurate testing for the frontline heroes. Since the earliest days of 908 Devices, our team has taken time to listen closely to customers and understand their challenges. This basic and yet fundamental practice enables us to invent new technologies that solve key pain points.
6. What makes your company unique?
Mass spectrometry has always been confined to the central lab, needing expert users to interpret the results. Our vision, and what ultimately sets our company apart, is making this gold standard analysis technique available to the masses.
7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
While we receive excellent feedback from our customers on device performance and use in the field, we are most proud of the praise we receive for our excellent customer service and 24/7 reachback service. When a customer has a technical question or requires a reachback analysis in the field, our team of technical experts and forensic scientists are always standing by.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Our efforts ensure whenever a responder encounters a highly toxic and unknown threat, they can quickly gain insights to protect themselves and others. For example, within seconds, our MX908 device provides actionable results to guide response protocols for responders, including chemical and hazmat teams, law enforcement and international customs agents. This ensures faster response so local communities are protected. More specifically, law enforcement agencies around the country have deployed the MX908 to effectively detect different types of drugs, such as fentanyl, which is deadly in even small quantities. Knowing our devices limit risk to deputies and fire rescue crews is incredibly rewarding and encourages us to work to the next level of protection.
9. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you'd like to share about you or your company?
In HBO's recent two-part documentary, "The Crime of The Century," Emmy and Academy Award winner Alex Gibney reveals how Big Pharma and political operatives are enabling the mass abuse of synthetic opiates. Our MX908 device was featured in the documentary as a means of technology being implemented to directly combat this public health crisis.
10. What's next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
We are just scratching the surface as to what our proprietary platform can do and at its market potential. We believe we can continue to drive down the size, increase our capabilities and generally just make things easier for our customers from sample to answer. We are bringing mass spec to the masses and we are going to keep at it.