The growing rate of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has become an important concern for the modern healthcare sector. According to WHO, the maximum number of deaths take place due to CVDs. From app to connect pacemakers with smartphones to wearables to monitor blood pressure, the healthcare service providers have decided to address this growing threat through the deployment of proper technical measures.
The European consortium has developed a photonics-based laser Doppler vibrometry system to fathom arterial stiffness under an important 3.6 million Euros project, Cardis. This project aims at investigating and demonstrating the potentials of cost-effective mobile devices to detect major cardiovascular problems like stenosis and heart failure, and to meet their objective the team has decided to form diverse innovative optical subsystems like photonic integrated chip, a biomechanical model to read skin-level vibrations, and micro-optical lens system. This project includes a long list of partners including Medtronic, Ghent University, Tyndall National Institute, and Queen Mary University.
The laser Doppler vibrometry, a hairdryer-sized product, assesses the stiffness of major arteries reading the speed of blood pressure pulse circulation across the vascular system. This innovative device can revamp the arena of CVD diagnosis providing a cost-effective way-out. A recent study was done on 100 patients at the Georges European Hospital, and IMEC reported that the device worked successfully. The researchers have to direct a low-power laser on the skin above an artery to find the heart bit pattern from the Doppler shift of the beam. Besides, the measurement of the arterial stiffening, the measurements provided by the test can be useful to check aortic stenosis, a common problem in the aged population. Integrating sensing capabilities of photonics and miniaturization abilities of silicon semiconductor technology, Silicon photonics becomes a potent weapon to change the lives of several cardiovascular patients. Undoubtedly, the presence of market-leading partners like Tyndall and Medtronic will lead LDV to new heights. To detect the CVDs at an early stage holds immense importance, and if LDV becomes successful in doing so, the researchers have decided to increase the production to bring exponential change in the cardiovascular disease detection and treatment.