Diabetes has become one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. Prevalence of diabetes vascular complications is increasing despite medical advancements. The lifespan of a patient with diabetes is reduced by 12 years due to vascular complications with significant impact on quality of life. However, there are no current methods of assessment of vascular function in diabetes which can be used early for diagnosis or for targeted reversibility. Vascular disease starts from activation of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels, which if prolonged may lead to decrease in distensibility. Hence, a device which measures distensibility of a distal vessel, in a non-invasive and user-friendly manner should be a good biomarker for preclinical disease.
This Technology Offer is a device with the capability to measure distensibility in the radial artery based on the electromagnetic effects of haemodynamic modulation. In a proof-of-concept study, it is demonstrated that the measurements from this device correlate with diabetes, traditional cardiovascular risk factors and the Framingham risk score. The aim is to improve health and reduce illness in metabolic disorders through patient-centred, early vascular function assessment that is accessible, cost-effective, non-invasive and effective. The target market of focus is on the primary care physicians and diabetes care clinics at the initial stages.
For the next stage of development, the research team is seeking industry partners to enhance the prototype to improve the ease of measurements and minimise patient discomfort. Clinical trials in a larger population will be conducted with the re-designed product.
This device can measure maximum distensibility, comprising of both reactive hyperaemia and arterial stiffness, in radial artery in a non-invasive manner but still retain reliability with minimum inter-individual variations. Briefly the device measures the capability of radial artery to dilate after a period of occlusion which reflects the capability of artery to accommodate to high flow. It has been observed that there are strong correlations with the Framingham risk scores and other conventional risk score engines in healthy individuals and T2DM individuals. There are current devices in the market which measure vascular function at other sites, one of which measures endothelial function only, which has a higher degree of variability and does not produce consistent results. Administration of these require training and each costing approximately five-figures range. Devices are available which measures arterial stiffness. These devices were priced very highly with expensive consumables per measurement, difficult to administer and provide very inconsistent results.
This technology can surpass these hurdles as the plan is to provide the service at a relatively lower cost, is easy to administer and can be done by any nurse in the clinic and the results have lower variability. The proposed solution has easy access, non-invasive and preclinical information to establish cut-offs such that risk stratification can be done. If significant correlations are seen with significant research and standardisation methods, it may become a significant tool required in every clinic as a sum measure of effect of control of the chronic diseases: diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.
The technology has the potential to improve healthcare in various ways:
Other possible applications: