K9MD Levi is World Class

K9MD Levi is World Class

1st September 2021


In a world first, New Zealand trained K9 German shepherd Levi von Heisenberg has successfully completed the Proof-of-Concept stage in detecting bowel cancer in saline as low as 6.0 percent ratio. 


The Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust in association with K9 Medical Detection NZ, (K9MD) 

believe this is the way forward in detecting bowel cancer using urine samples which has never been successfully completed before, helping reduce the over-crowded wait lists for diagnostic tests here in New Zealand.


In June 2021 K9MD carried out a Proof-of-Concept Validation for canine detection of bowel cancer in saline with Levi. The validation consisted of 400 samples and was completed over five consecutive days under strict guidelines and conditions. An independent observer was present during the entire testing process to verify the whole process and ensure blind (the trainer does not know whether the samples are positive or negative) testing conditions were maintained throughout. The results were recorded into a specific software programme and analysed by K9MD’s Biostatistician. A video recording of the validation was sent to the United States for peer review by an international expert on canine scent detection. 


Levi achieved results using various concentration ratios from 100% down to 6% for the validation. K9MD Levi successfully detected positive bowel cancer samples 98.4 per cent of the time and ignored samples that did not contain cancer 100 per cent of the time. Since validation Levi is now detecting positive bowel cancer samples as low as 1.0 percent.


K9 Medical Detection NZ CEO Pauline Blomfield was ecstatic and paid tribute to the entire K9MD team for their hard work and commitment to achieving such phenomenal results. 

“K9MD’s objective to create a simple diagnostic urine test for early bowel cancer detection is one step closer” said Blomfield.


The Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust CEO and Founder Georgina Mason said, “The K9MD team has achieved incredible results. New Zealand’s bowel screening wait lists are blowing out because they contain patients with bowel cancer mixed in with those that have inflammatory and other bowel conditions. Our test will find those specific bowel cancer patients earlier and ultimately save lives.”


K9 Levi’s training will now recommence with stage two, Diagnostic Test Accuracy in real world conditions using patient urine samples. “With Levi’s solid odour imprinting of the specific volatile organic compounds released from bowel cancer, we are looking forward to continuing our work to make a real difference for bowel cancer patients in New Zealand”, Blomfield says.