Wearable cardiovascular monitoring on the pulse of time

High blood pressure is responsible for almost 11 million deaths worldwide every year. 30% of adults develop hypertension and yet the majority of cases are either not diagnosed, or diagnosed incorrectly. Only one third of these cases are diagnosed correctly, but often accidentally.

Hypertension is also the cause for many other diseases and can lead to strokes and dementia. As our daily-lives gain more and more speed and stress becomes our routine, more than ever, we need an easy way to read and regulate our blood pressure. Eureka is doing its part to help.

Blood pressure sensor

Aware of these alarming facts CNSystems tackled this problem head on already 20 years ago. With the development of CNAP® technology (a very easy way to measure blood pressure by means of a simple finger sensor), the company is one of the pioneers providing clinically validated non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring solutions, which have many different clinical and research areas established in the market.

The technology has already been adapted for the integration into the monitoring devices of global players such as GETINGE, Dräger, LiDCO or BIOPAC and is currently prepared for mass production: with the support of the Eureka CNAP simulator project, a test system (concretely, a finger simulator) is developed for regulatory evidence and quality control. This simulator emulates the complex CNAP® technology, ensures functionality and reproduces clinical performance tests.

“This device, the CNAP®, has all the features of a disruptive technology […] that will permanently change monitoring.” – Prof. Robert H. Thiele MD, Critical Care Division, University of Virginia

The project is an essential milestone not only for existing products, but also for future ones, such as the portable solution "CNAP®-2-GO", which has been developed for the huge home care market. CNAP®-2-GO is a medical grade wearable device, meaning its results will be really taken seriously by medical practitioners, unlike with most readily available smart-watches and similar products, which are not clinically validated and might therefore not be accurate enough to derive appropriate therapies.

CNAP®-2-GO is also superior to existing medical technologies and practices, as it is non-invasive and can be comfortably worn by patients as a simple finger ring over extended periods of time. It measures blood pressure continuously during different physiological activities with high clinical accuracy and derives additional essential cardiovascular values from the data, providing a complete and accurate picture of the patient’s overall health.

The data is stored safely and securely on the device and is not shared with any third parties. Only non-personalised data is sent via the cloud. However, individuals can choose to share their medical data securely with their medical professionals.

Although this project is still in its early stages, initial studies with a CNAP®-2-GO prototype have already been carried out. The results are very promising: non-invasive comparative data have already been published and comparisons with the intra-arterial catheter as a reference method in 46 patients during surgery at the UKE Hamburg are currently being prepared for publication. The data shows differences to the reference methods, which already show medical accuracy according to ISO standards at this early stage of development.

The method is to be integrated into a finger ring that can record a continuous blood pressure signal. The ring sends the signal to a smartphone, which has enough computing capacity to determine the additional advanced cardiovascular parameters such as cardiac output, vascular resistance or parameters for assessing the vegetative nervous system.

The portable CNAP®-2-GO sensor - integrated into a modern competitive business model - is to be developed for the diagnosis and therapy control of about 1.5 billion hypertension patients. The company sees further application possibilities in the monitoring of patients in general wards, as the system is portable and extremely easy to use.

This story is based on a Eureka project.

CNAP(R) SIMULATOR (ID: E! 12242) 01/02/2018-01/02/2020

Project cost: 2.5 million euro

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Posted 19 June 19