Project Lead(s): Anh Dinh
In 2004, 17.1 million people died from cardiovascular disease and 23.6 million people will die every year by 2030.
Echocardiography and electrocardiography (ECG) are used to provide needed detailed information for diagnosis of heart disease, but accessing these tools is difficult in low-income countries because of their expense.
The project sought to develop a low-cost, easy-to-use medical device to pre-screen for heart disease and monitor heart activity.
The device provides an equivalent of echocardiography with ECG, heart rate and continuous blood pressure monitoring. The prototype was built and successfully tested on healthy and heart disease patients to prove the concept.
Three versions of the prototype were built and tested in the laboratory, and then in the field.
A third party in Vietnam wrote software for the computer connected to the device.
The device and system was tested on 95 subjects: 30 heart disease patients at two hospitals in Vietnam (The Cu Chi Hospital and The Thanh Mau Clinic); 55 heart disease and healthy patients in three different locations in Vietnam (at the International University, at the Long An Province and at the Tra Vinh Province); and 10 healthy subjects in Saskatoon.
By talking to the patients and their families in Vietnam, it was found that the device was much appreciated, since the people could not afford to have their heart checked regularly.
The developed technology can be applied to other areas of healthcare in which patients’ cardiac performance has to be monitored and data stored in digital form for easy retrieval.
The next step for the project is to perfect the device and the software, so that it can automatically provide patients and/or physicians with advice and recommendations.
Work is underway with a Vietnamese cardiologist to apply for a grant to conduct acceptance testing of the device by physicians. The plan would then be to scale the project for other jurisdictions.