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by Sofia Villegas
21 December 2023
Funding boost for Scottish heart attack sensor team

More than 18,000 people die from cardiovascular disease in Scotland according to BHF | Almay

Funding boost for Scottish heart attack sensor team

A health project based in Glasgow has received a funding boost to develop an affordable sensor to detect heart attack victims more quickly. 

Funded through a Translation Award from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), it is hoped the device will “empower” health professionals “to make the best decisions” and “help save lives” as rapid action can minimise tissue damage and risk of death, principal investigator Damion Corrigan said. 

He added: “Cardiac biomarkers can support an early and accurate diagnosis and our test will be lower cost, more accessible and available at the point of need.” 

“The highly portable, low cost and rapid nature of the technology means we envisage it being applied to screening for heart attacks in rural and remote communities, in primary care and also for heart attack screening in low and middle-income countries.” 

The project will deliver a prototype unit over the next three years. 

With current detection technologies being costly and either laboratory or hospital-based, the new device could be a significant step forward in the treatment of coronary heart disease, which is responsible for more than 65,000 deaths every year across the UK, according to BHF. 

The technology would screen for proteins released into the bloodstream during a heart attack, which cannot be measured in GP surgeries, community pharmacies or by emergency services and first responders. 

The device would reduce “unnecessary hospital admissions” by ruling out patients who do not have a cardiac issue, John Keaney, acute medical director at NHS Lanarkshire, said. 

Paramedics could also give advanced notice on those needing urgent care, allowing A&E departments to “streamline their triage”. 

The device will be developed at the Centre for Advanced Measurement Research & Health Translation and partners in the project include the University of Strathclyde, the National Measurement Laboratory and NHS Lanarkshire. 

It is hoped that the technology will eventually also provide a route to developing biomarker panels for other conditions, including cardiac monitoring, sepsis and cancer. 

The project also involves FlexMedical Solutions, which will manufacture the sensors and Compliance Solutions, which will assist the university team in gaining regulatory approval. 

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Read the most recent article written by Sofia Villegas - Scottish space firm secures multi-million pound funding for ‘critical’ development.

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