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CardioWise: A 'Wise' Approach toward a Healthier Heart
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Jack Coats, CEO, CardioWise
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, especially in developed countries. An estimated 15 million adults suffer from coronary heart disease in the U.S. alone. Even though hospitals have highly skilled surgeons to address these problems, the major process that pulls them back is identifying the state of the disease quickly. Reason being: the qualitative and subjective nature of the current methods of detection presents a great challenge resulting in a delayed intervention by physicians or significant impact on a patient’s health condition.
Understanding the importance of diagnosing a patient quickly, Jack Coats, CEO and Geoffrey Dalbow, CTO of CardioWise put their heads together and developed a groundbreaking non-invasive technology—Cardiac Computed Tomography (cCT). cCT is a heart analysis software that can read a CT scan image and accurately discover problems with the heart muscle. It quantifies the evaluation of diagnosis and provides results within a short span of time assisting physicians to rapidly decide the required level of intervention. The expanse of experience in the medical imaging field, in particular with tomography radiomics, gives a competitive edge to both Coats and Dalbow.
Riding the innovation wave to develop a new quantitative method for Cardiac CT regional function assessment, CardioWise acquired the exclusive license and associated pending patents for “Stretch Quantifier for Endocardial Engraved Zones (SQuEEZ),” from John Hopkins Technology Ventures. The SQuEEZ patent is based on the ability to track the functioning of the heartwall during heart contractions to enable a quantitative assessment of regional heart wall motion. It enables users to measure heart contractile functions such as blood flow and muscle movement.
It quantifies the evaluation of diagnosis and provides results within a short span of time assisting physicians to rapidly decide the required level of intervention
“Typically, when coronary arteries get blocked by plaque, it can cut off or limit the blood supply to the heart muscle. The muscle can either go into hibernation or be damaged and eventually lead to a heart attack. This algorithmic insight is important to deliver early diagnosis,” explains Coats.
SQuEEZ uses an image that is obtained from a CT coronary angiographic protocol to measure the regional strain or the ability of the heart to pump blood in patients. The data is captured from a CT scan, and all that users have to do is use the algorithm to calculate the strain/measure heart functions in small areas, and see the exact location of damage occurrence. To cross verify the information, a preset database with input from normal subjects is created. To design and deliver the database, CT images of the left ventricle of these persons are taken and stored to form a standard data storage server for the functioning of the heart muscle. SQuEEZ can also be put into action at any time during a course of treatment to check the effects an intervention can cause to patients’ condition. A key differentiator of SQuEEZ is its ability to use anatomical markers to follow heart wall motion as the heart moves through a complete cycle. It takes only a single heartbeat to acquire the data set required for the analysis, dramatically reducing radiation dose.
Presently, the developers at CardioWise are preparing SQuEEZ for review by the FDA. “Our software is integrated with a machine learning and AI approach, and those technologies can be used to solve complex biological questions,” comments Coats. Besides the normal database, CardioWise in the future will be able to develop disease-specific cardiac databases and use them to identify the damage pattern in the ventricular walls of the heart for a patient with a particular disease. In terms of geographical expansion, CardioWise is excited to move into Europe after they received a successful patent review for their technology from the EU.
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