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Advanced Electronic Stehoscope Quickly Measures Heart Status

With the Acarix CADScor®System we are seeing growth in an entirely new and advanced medical technology – difficult to develop, but easy to use. The system can save lives as well as substantial amounts for health care.

Assignment: Create a measuring instrument for quickly diagnose any constrictions.

Most people with chest pains, backaches and similar symptoms go to their local health care clinics. The pains can be caused by many things but the physician always has reason to suspect that a blood clot could be forming. To be on the safe side, the patient is usually given a referral for further examinations in the form of ECG testing and CT scans, with potentially long waiting times and subsequently considerable costs. Examinations that can now be significantly reduced.

Put in simple terms, the innovation involves an electronic stethoscope that measures the flow of blood in the heart’s coronary arteries and can quickly diagnose any constrictions. The examination only takes a few minutes and is performed directly at the clinic. If a CAD score is high, it is an indication that the patient needs to be sent to pre-screening.

With Acarix’ analytical instrument, a precise measurement is attained with a safer and predictable method. An adhesive bandage with an advanced microphone is placed close to the heart. The apparatus measures sounds from the heart and from the blood flowing through the arteries, and can thus determine if there is an arterial constriction since in such case, the blood will swirl. Based on this examination the physician can decide if the patient needs a referral for further measures.

Acarix is the company behind this innovation. The company’s business concept is based on Danish university research. In May of this year, the important CE approval was received; a difficult eye of a needle to pass for a product used for medical purposes.

And the closer a medical product comes to the body, the more difficult it is to receive CE approval. Obtaining the authorities’ CE approval provides entitlement to sell the product, which in this case has been tested on more than 2,000 patients.

Claus Bo Vöge Christensen, COO at Acarix and experienced in developing sensors for medical equipment, tells of how operations were begun in 2009:

“One of the primary functions we developed with the Acarix CADScor® System was the capability to determine whether there were constrictions in the coronary arteries. It is a tremendous relief for patients when it can be quickly determined whether they have a serious, emergency heart problem. Our electronic stethoscope and CADScor® System is nearly as good as CT scanning, at the same time as it is entirely risk-free.

“We’ve been very pleased with the help we’ve received from Prevas as a development center since 2011. We listen to the sound from the coronary arteries, which is one thousand times lower than normal sound. Other technical expertise was needed for this than what we had in-house. At Prevas we found experience and specialist know-ledge in among other things, acoustics, audio and signal processing. We chose Prevas because of their size and the depth of their resources in their specialty areas, which we anticipated would provide continuity in work without being dependent on a single individual, and this has proven to be the case.”

“The project structure we have used with Prevas has been very good with a high degree of flexibility,” Claus Vöge Christensen says. “They have been able to regulate the pace in relation to ongoing decisions from our investors. In Prevas we found strong staff engagement, which demonstrated from the start that more was involved than just making money. We really felt that they were genuinely interested and they adopted the project as if was their own to a far greater degree than what we could have expected as a client. This is very important for trust and the project form, as well as for the immediacy of our collaboration.

“Project management and the project have worked well, even when things have not gone as we would have preferred. The process of understanding why things do not work is at least as important. We’ve also had excellent cooperation when it came to the required tests, and with Prevas we found substantial know-ledge of the regulations in medical technology. We have absolutely nothing to complain about with our collaboration.”

Henrik Möller, responsible for Prevas operations in Denmark has this to say:

“Prevas has been along for the entire process, which has been a one-product, one-company project. Even if the Acarix product is unique, Acarix has been able to benefit from Prevas’ proven methodology in developing hardware and software. Prevas has also provided project management, coordinated mechanical engineering and been involved in portions of the CE approval process.

“Acarix is oriented to doctors at health care clinics, cardiology clinics and to private practicing cardiologists. In Danish heath care alone, it is expected that nine-digit savings will be attained by eliminating expensive examinations at hospitals.

Do you want to know more about this project or find out what Prevas can do for you, please contact us.

Henrik Møller, e-mail

Maxim Integrated, reference
Maxim Integrated, reference

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