Canadian researchers develop a touchless device for active detection of cardiovascular diseases

This non-invasive and portable device helps in whole-body blood flow monitoring and improved diagnosis of heart disease.

Are you at risk of heart disease or not? A new touchless device might provide results at a faster rate than the currently used traditional methods. The researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, have developed a novel, non-invasive, touch less and portable device, for improved diagnosis and prevention of various cardiovascular disease. The device can monitor simultaneously the blood flow in the patients at multiple arterial points on the body without direct contact with the skin. It uses a technique called as Coded Hemodynamic Imaging to provide the results. The research study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. (Read: 8 tests that can tell if you have heart disease)

How does it work?

To monitor cardiovascular activity, experts used photoplethysmography or PPG technology. In this, sensors are positioned on the skin and light is passed which helps in the detection of any fluctuations that occur in the local blood volume. However, the researchers of the current study worked with photoplethysmographic imaging, or PPGI, which doesn t require skin contact as it is more sensitive to active or ambient light fluctuations.

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Unlike traditional systems that take the reading based on a single blood-pulse at one spot of the body, this device can measure blood flow in various parts of the body by acting as numerous virtual sensors. The measurements from all the pulse points are relayed to a computer for continuous monitoring, said Robert Amelard, a systems design engineer at Waterloo. (Read: 12 signs that your heart is in trouble)

Advantages of the device over traditional measures

  1. It is ideal for people suffering from highly contagious diseases and painful burns, as skin contact is not required.
  2. Infants admitted in neonatal intensive units whose tiny fingers make the conventional monitoring procedures difficult can be assessed with this new device.
  3. It provides a complete picture of what is happening in the body i.e.; whole-body imaging, unlike traditional measures that provide single-point reports.
  4. It can also be used for detection of arterial blockages that might otherwise go undetected, or warning older adults who risk falling as a result of getting dizzy when they stand. Here are 10 reasons why you should take fainting more seriously.
  5. The device can also scan multiple patients individually at once and from a distance, thereby proving beneficial in the case of mass emergencies.

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