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A Nova Way to Monitor Cerebral Blood Flow

Ian Bolland spoke to Diane Bryant, chairman and CEO of NovaSignal about the company’s ultrasound device that monitors cerebral blood flow.

A Nova Way to Monitor Cerebral Blood Flow

NovaSignal’s device combines artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and ultrasound to improve brain health. The company’s technology allows clinicians to look at blood flow patterns in the brain in real time, allowing them to be alerted to any changes or risks to the patient.

Bryant explains that the technology uses transcranial doppler ultrasound which has been around for over 40 years and adding AI and robotics to it has allowed it to keep track of the blood flow in the main arteries, detecting the presence of plaque or emboli.

Explaining further, she said: “From those parameters, velocity and blood flow in the brain and the identification of particles you can then diagnose any ischemic or haemorrhagic stroke.

“The beauty of this is the robotic system and for the automated collection of cerebral blood flow data and the algorithms have obviously been developed. The search algorithms can lock on the arteries in 350 milliseconds, that is something no human no matter how highly trained you are can find the temporal window in the brain where the skull thickness is the narrowest and lock on your major artery.”

With the company based in the United States, the company seems to be aiming to increase access for hospitals to have access to better diagnostics and treatments for conditions like stroke.

Bryant outlines that NovaSignal’s technology aims to bring about more modern and, as a result, better diagnostics and treatment of brain related conditions.

“Today when you walk into 77% of all hospitals and clinics in the U.S they have no way to diagnose a stroke other than a standard survey; where you raise your arms, smile, speak. It’s crazy, we’re in the 21st century. With our device you put it on someone’s head, 350 milliseconds to find the arteries, less than two minutes to present velocity and presence of emboli, and then you’re off into formal treatment.”

The device is available through distributors in the UK and Irish markets, with the product granted the CE mark. NovaSignal will also apply for the UKCA mark for when it comes into force in 2023.

In terms of its use, it can be found most likely to be found in an operating theatre and has been used on patients during open heart surgery and liver transplants among other operations. It can also be used while in intensive care and be used for lengthy periods, with comfort a necessary factor during the design process.

“If you have a stroke, there’s a 30% probability you’ll have a second stroke so the doctors at that point have to get to the root cause. So, you can go into the ICU for 14 days to be continuously monitored. Without our device there’s no way to monitor continuously so our device is used in the ICU. The patient can lay in it, it’s comfortable like everything else in hospital with a degree of comfort and be monitored for eight hours.”

The third use is for hole in the heart, which affects a quarter of the world’s population, with some completely unaware of the condition, which NovaSignal can detect with bubble injections.

“They inject the bubbles which, if there’s a hole in the heart, can cross the right to left shunt and present itself in the blood flow in the brain. So, we can then monitor and count the bubbles so not only can we say there’s a hole in the heart, we can say how large the hole is. We’re the only device that can non-invasively, without radiation, sedation, that can say you have a hole in the heart and it’s of the size that it should be closed.”

This is down to a trend of continuous monitoring, the data collected by the device that’s stored in the cloud informing treatments going forward.

Bryant summarised: “All of that data is being aggregated into the cloud. It’s obviously with a virtual private cloud. But that data then is stored forever so when you have a stroke your physician can pull all of our historical data and say “here.” It’s progression over time rather than just that current snapshot in the moment.”

Seen on Med-Tech Innovation News: Article Link

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