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New touchless device to detect heart problems early

Press Trust of India  |  Toronto 

A revolutionary new system for monitoring vital signs has been developed by researchers that could lead to improved detection and prevention of some cardiovascular issues.

Using patent-pending technology called Coded Hemodynamic Imaging, the device is the first portable system that monitors a patient's blood flow at multiple arterial points simultaneously and without direct contact with the skin.

It is ideal for assessing patients with painful burns, highly contagious diseases, or infants in neonatal intensive care whose tiny fingers make traditional monitoring difficult.

"Traditional systems in wide use now take one blood-pulse reading at one spot on the body," said Robert Amelard, a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

"This device acts like many virtual sensors that measure blood-flow behaviour on various parts of the body. The device relays measurements from all of these pulse points to a computer for continuous monitoring," said Amelard.

Continuous data collection at different parts of the body provides a more complete picture of what is happening in the body.

Whole-body imaging opens doors for advanced monitoring that can not be done with the traditional, single-point methods, researchers said.

"Since the device can also scan multiple patients individually at once and from a distance, consider the potential in mass emergency scenarios or long-term care homes," said Professor Alexander Wong, of the Faculty of Engineering at Waterloo and Canada Research Chair in Medical Imaging Systems.

"This technology provides for a more predictive approach to monitor vitals and the potential for its use is extensive, such as indicating arterial blockages that might otherwise go undetected, or warning older adults who risk falling as a result of getting dizzy when they stand," said Wong.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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First Published: Fri, January 08 2016. 11:48 IST
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