THE WEARABLE THAT IMPROVES THE PATIENT/DOCTOR RELATIONSHIP
A battery-free telemetric sensor which enables the health professional to control the heart remotely.
The heart is a very delicate organ, which needs a lot of special care and attention. So much so that cardiovascular diseases are the biggest cause of mortality, according to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics and the World Health Organization. Moreover, the WHO states that heart diseases and diseases of the circulatory system represent 31% of mortality recorded globally.
Faced with this situation, medical professionals are most concerned about the lack of information and knowledge among the population, according to the National Cardiology Institute; as well as the false belief that these diseases only affect vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. This is a myth that we have absorbed, but the reality is that this type of medical conditions are increasingly found among young people and adolescents.
The causes of cardiovascular diseases are related, above all, to a sedentary lifestyle, such as a lack of physical activity, not enough sleep and exposure to prolonged periods of stress, in addition to a poor diet.
“Although it is not necessary to stop eating foods of animal origin completely, our research (observational research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association) suggests that eating a larger proportion of foods of a vegetable origin and a smaller proportion of those of animal origin could help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease”,
Casey M. Rebholz, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University (United States).
Dr. José Navia, director of the Cleveland Clinic of Florida’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Center, shares the opinion of Rebholz and states that
“Heart disease is 90% treatable and can be prevented by eating foods with a low salt and cholesterol content, exercising regularly and not smoking.”
WEARABLES THAT WILL HELP YOU TO PREVENT HEART DISEASES
Faced with this situation, many professionals remind us that prevention is the key to reducing heart diseases and acting on time in the event of the imminent development of disease. In this regard, wearables intended to control and monitor the heart have a fundamental role to play.
We are referring to smart devices in the field of e-health, including the smartphone which enables you to perform an electrocardiogram, or pajamas or clothing worn at home that monitor your heart rate, your sleep and are capable of knowing whether you have suffered a fall. Or smart clothing, such as the top designed by a Spanish team which reads your heart activity 24 hours a day. Even smart speakers, like the famous Alexa, detect the symptoms of a heart attack from your breathing. Your mobile phone camera can also control your blood pressure with a selfie and an app.
THE FIRST INTRA-CARDIAC MICROCOMPUTER IN SPAIN
Although all of these wearables that form part of e-Health have revolutionized industry and medicine, true innovation has just reached Spain, specifically a Catalonian hospital. The device we are talking about is an intra-cardiac microcomputer which is capable of monitoring the heart remotely.
The company responsible for this invention is Vectorious Medical Technologies, an Israeli startup, focused on improving the lives of people with heart problems.
The first operation in Spain was carried out at the Germans Trias hospital (Badalona) by a team of cardiologists led by Dr. Omar AbdulJawad. The 80-year-old patient was discharged from hospital a few days after the operation. The intervention was carried out on July 21st 2021, although the hospital is already preparing its next interventions with new patients.
Operations have also been carried out in other hospitals such as the University of Valladolid Clinical Hospital and the startup is working on its next intervention at the Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda University Hospital in Madrid.
The sensor has been analyzed in an international clinical trial with researchers from Germany, Italy, Israel and the United Kingdom.
HOW DOES THE V-LAP WORK?
The wearable has been given the name V-LAP, a digital microcomputer in the shape of a telemetric sensor and which operates without a battery. It charges remotely when the sensor is outside of the patient’s body; which improves its working and preservation by being kept outside of the organ, thereby increasing its use time. The device offers data collected through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
IT IMPROVES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DOCTOR AND PATIENT
The sensor enables cardiologists to monitor and control, continuously and remotely, the pressure of the left atrium of the heart in patients suffering from heart failure.
Monitoring takes place daily and without the need for the patient to visit the medical professional in person, since it is fully remote, with clinical data accessed 24 hours a day and in real time. Additionally, the device enables a greater regularity in the monitoring of the patient, a huge advance in the patient-doctor relationship.
According to Antoni Bayés, the clinical director of Cardiology at Germans Trias,
“Patients that receive this implant can monitor their disease from the comfort of their own home. This fact is especially relevant in the context of the pandemic we are experiencing, where we have clearly seen the need to enhance telemedicine.”
Although it is not the first time this Catalonia hospital has encouraged the use of wearables; to reduce the stress caused by Covid-19, staff at the Catalonian hospital use virtual reality glasses using a relaxation program.