Friday, 29 November 2019 00:47

Technology helps improve cardiovascular disease detection, monitoring, treatment Featured

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Technology is helping to improve the way cardiovascular disease (CVD) - currently the leading cause of death globally - can be detected, monitored and treated, according to a new research report.

According to UK research consultancy IDTechEx the prevalence and cost of CVD - responsible for 17 million deaths every year - means that there is an urgent need for solutions to raise standards of care and improve patient outcomes.

IDTechEx says the main approaches for detecting CVD are currently in vitro diagnostics (IVD) at point-of-care (POC) and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in cardiovascular imaging.

“AI in imaging is of particular interest beyond imaging in general, because it is the integration of AI into these systems that is truly innovative. The four main types of POC diagnostics technologies are lab-on-a-chip (LOAC), electrochemical test strips, lateral flow assays (LFAs) and molecular diagnostics (MDx),” IDTechEx says.

In their latest report - Cardiovascular Disease 2020-2030: Trends, Technologies & Outlook - IDTechEx reports that the CVD technology market will exceed US$40 billion by 2030.

“As developers’ understanding of this disease grows, so will the range of devices at their disposal to address it. They have only scratched the surface of how technology can improve CVD patients’ lives and, as they dig deeper, they will continue to unlock the potential of this growing market,” IDTechEx notes.

IDTechEx says the protocols for monitoring patients are rapidly evolving.

“Historically, patients who fall ill are required to travel in order to visit a general practitioner or hospital. This procedure may soon become a thing of the past. The biggest trends in patient monitoring currently revolve around remote patient monitoring (RPM), which enables the patients’ health to be examined from a distance,” IDTechEx says.

“This means that healthcare professionals do not necessarily need to examine their patients in person. Instead, consultations can be conducted over video call and patient readings and information can be accessed through a digital platform.

“Cardiovascular RPM involves a number of connected medical devices for use in the home. Wearables - such as skin patches, accessories and smart clothing - are particularly relevant as most innovations are made in this field.

“Many forms of CVD are chronic in nature, meaning that they worsen over time. Thus, once the disease has been diagnosed it is important to initiate treatment as soon as possible in order to provide positive patient outcomes.

“Current trends in the treatment of CVD revolve around cardiac rhythm management and cardiovascular tissue generation. The technologies are in various stages of development – some have been commercially available for decades and others are still in the proof-of-concept phase.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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