Cardiovascular disease diagnosis through Laser Doppler vibrometry

March 09, 2020 // By Julien Happich
Laser Doppler vibrometry
Launched by a European consortium led by research centre Imec, the H2020 project InSiDe aims to develop a mobile diagnostic device based on silicon photonics to identify and characterize different stages of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

The device offers fast, flexible and patient-friendly monitoring of CVD, keeping patients in their home environment while still being able to closely follow-up and intervene in due time.
“The InSiDe project has been triggered by the remarkable outcome of the H2020 project CARDIS. Together with the CARDIS project partners, we developed a prototype mobile, affordable, point-of-care screening device for CVD. The device enables fast and reliable measurement of CVD-related biophysical signals through minimal physical contact with the patient and minimal skills from the operator,” stated Roel Baets, group leader at imec and professor at Ghent University, on of Imec’s partners on the project. “The objective of the InSiDe project is to take this CARDIS prototype device a major step further towards proven medical relevance and towards commercialization.”

CARDIS prototype medical device can perform Laser Doppler
Vibrometry on a patient’s skin to deduce metrics for arterial
stiffness and to diagnose cardiovascular diseases.

The operating principle of the device is Laser Doppler Vibrometry (LDV): a low-power laser is directed towards the skin overlying an artery. The skin’s vibration amplitude and frequency, resulting from the heartbeat, are extracted from the Doppler shift of the reflected beam.  The key underlying technology is silicon photonics, which allows the implementation of advanced optical functionality in a chip produced in a CMOS fab environment. The CARDIS prototype device underwent a first clinical feasibility study at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris (France) and at the Academic Hospital of Maastricht (The Netherlands), collecting a substantial clinical dataset, both from healthy subjects as well as from patients with cardiovascular
conditions. The quality of the device readings was found to be very good and adequate biophysical signals could be obtained in all subjects, even if the algorithmic translation to relevant markers for medical pathologies needs further work. Roel Baets added: “The very promising results from the CARDIS project stimulated the consortium to take the next step and aim at bringing the prototype to a true manufacturable product that is useful for GPs and cardiologists in their daily practice.”

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