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Is there a role for magnetocardiography in helping healthcare professionals better understand cardiac ventricular arrhythmias?

Globally, around 4.25 million people a year die from sudden cardiac death[1] so it isn’t surprising that the British Heart Foundation has been regularly talking about the importance of better understanding ventricular cardiac arrhythmias as the issue poses a major public health challenge. The critical element of this is that many people are totally unaware of the risk – around 50% of patients have no prior known heart disease[2]. There is consequently an urgent need to better understand these heart conditions, how to identify those at risk, what causes them and how to treat them, so that more lives can be saved.

Over the last few years, sudden, cardiac arrests have hit the headlines after several high-profile sports stars were affected. In 2012, Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during the club’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur and his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. More recently, Nottinghamshire and England cricketer, James Taylor was forced to retire at the age of 26 after a scan revealed that he has an inherited heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

Experts emphasise the importance of screening for cardiac conditions as early detection can go a long way in increasing a person’s life expectancy and some have even supported mandatory reporting of all sudden cardiac death cases to help better identify those who may be at risk. Magnetocardiography (MCG) has the potential to play a large role in this area, whether it is screening relatives of people who have died from sudden cardiac conditions or supporting with risk stratification to help identify those people most at risk of ventricular arrhythmias. While further research is required, early indications strongly suggest that MCG will support the effective identification and subsequent treatment of those who are most at risk of suffering a sudden cardiac event and become a critical tool in a health professional’s armoury.

[1] Mendis SPP, Norrving B. Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011.

[2] Myerburg RJ et al. Sudden cardiac death. Structure, function, and time-dependence of risk. Circulation 1992; 85: I2–10

 

Creavo signs distribution agreements in Europe and the Middle East

Creavo Medical Technologies has signed its first agreements to distribute medical devices in Europe and the Middle East.

The agreements, which have been signed with distribution partners in Ireland, Sweden and Kuwait, will enable market launch in these countries and for Vitalscan devices to be sold for investigator-led research projects.

Vitalscan, which is the first device developed by Creavo Medical Technologies, could revolutionise the way patients with chest pain are managed by emergency departments. It works by conducting a non-invasive, three to five-minute scan at a patient’s bedside to aid the rule out of significant cardiac conditions, such as heart attacks, using advanced quantum principles to measure, store and display the electromagnetic fluctuations caused by heart activity.

CEO of Creavo Medical Technologies, Steve Parker, said: “We are very pleased with the commercial partnerships we have established and it marks another step in the process of bringing our innovative technology to market.

“At a time when emergency departments are facing increasing pressures, Vitalscan has the potential to radically change the triage process for patients arriving at emergency department with chest pain. These distribution partnerships mean that we can now build on the momentum from the launch of our multi-centre clinical study, testing the device in four of the busiest A&E departments in the UK, with further trials in other countries globally.”

Creavo Medical Technologies was established in 2014 to bring to market ground-breaking technology developed by Professor Ben Varcoe, Chair of Quantum Information Science at Leeds University. A largescale, multi-centre clinical trial involving Vitalscan started at the beginning of 2017, marking the largest ever clinical trial of a magnetocardiography device.

The Times Article

A British-made device that can diagnose a heart attack in five minutes could save the NHS E200 million a year, its manufacturers claim.

The device, called Vltalscan, is being tested in four English casualty departments, in the largest clinical trial of its kind. It works by measuring electromagnetic fluctuations of the heart.

There were 1.3 million A&E admissions due to chest pain in 2014-15, but 63 per cent of those patients were ultimately found not to have a heart problem. Most will still have had to go through tests to rule out a heart attack. The process can take anywhere between six and 24 hours.

Earlier trials of the Vitalscan, which costs £100,000, showed it could rule out heart attack in about a third of patients ultimately found to have no heart condition by conducting a non-invasive three to five-minute scan at the bedside. Currently, testing on a “rule in” basis, so a patient has to have all the tests and fail them to prove they do not have a heart condition.

The device is being tested at A&E departments in Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield. The manufacturer, Creavo Medical Technologies, said that if the early results were borne out, hospitals should see a return on investment within six to eight weeks.

 

Heart device on trial that could save the NHS £200 million a year

A new cardiac scanning device that could save the NHS £200 million a year is being trialled at four of the UK’s largest emergency departments (Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield).

The British-made Vitalscan device, which has been developed by Creavo Medical Technologies and could revolutionise the way patients with chest pain are managed in emergency departments, works by conducting a non-invasive three to five-minute scan at a patient’s bedside to rule out significant cardiac conditions, such as heart attacks.

Data from the York Health Economics Consortium shows that 1.3 million A&E admissions in 2014/15 were due to chest pain. Of these, 63% ultimately had no cardiac-related condition but, the majority would still have gone through the same costly cardiac triage process of someone having a heart attack. Vitalscan has the potential to identify a significant proportion of these patients which would radically change the management of chest pain patients entering emergency departments. Conservative estimates indicate that the device could save the NHS £200 million a year, the equivalent of £3.85 million a week and £382 a minute, easing pressure on bed space in A&E departments and reducing patient anxiety by getting patients to the correct treatment more quickly.

Steve Parker, CEO Creavo Medical Technologies says: “Cardiac-related chest pain is one of the biggest issues facing emergency departments in the western world due to the economic burden it places on healthcare services and the disruption it causes to inpatient care.

“The triage process for someone entering an emergency department with chest pain can take anywhere from six to 24 hours which places a huge amount of strain on resources.

“Early results from smaller sets of clinical trials indicate that Vitalscan can quickly identify and rule out significant ischemic heart disease so it prevents patients who aren’t suffering from a cardiac-related condition from having to go through the lengthy, costly chest pain triage process, easing the burden on emergency departments at a time when they are facing unprecedented pressures.”

Creavo Medical Technologies was established to commercialise the work undertaken by Professor Ben Varcoe at the University of Leeds to develop Vitalscan, a portable, passive magnetocardiography device that measures the electromagnetic fluctuations of the heart, while maintaining the accuracy and efficacy of older SQUID devices. The start of clinical trials at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust marks the largest ever clinical trial of a magnetocardiography device. This will be followed by a second stage starting at three centres in the United States at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Cincinnati and Baylor Texas.

Creavo appoints new CFO

Creavo Medical Technologies, a UK-based, privately held medical devices company, has announced the appointment of John von Benecke as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to help the company with its next phase of growth as it nears the commercialisation of its first device.

Mr von Benecke previous experience spans CFO roles at medical technology start-ups, including Veryan Medical, Cellnovo and ApaTech, and senior finance roles at blue chip healthcare companies like Abbott Laboratories.

He has more than 15 years’ experience in the healthcare industry and a decade of experience working for start-ups and venture capital and private equity-backed businesses, during which time he has raised a total of more than $100 million of equity and debt and taken companies through to successful exits.

In his role at Creavo, he will be responsible for the overall financial function at the company, as well as working closely with the CEO on fundraising, commercial strategy and financial planning.

Steve Parker, Chief Executive Officer at Creavo Medical Technologies, said: “John brings with him a wealth of experience in both the medical industry and private equity backed businesses which makes him the perfect fit for us. His expertise will be invaluable as we take VitalScan through clinical trials and move ever closer to commercialisation.

“VitalScan could change the cardiac triage process across the world quite dramatically and John has the right experience to support us in the months and years ahead where we will potentially experience rapid growth. We are very pleased to have him as part of the team.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr von Benecke said: “Creavo is a forward-looking, innovative company with a product that could drive real change in healthcare markets globally. Having worked with many organisations that are at a similar stage of maturity to Creavo, I fully understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to working closely with Steve and the team to support Creavo’s next phase of growth.”

Creavo Medical Technologies is a UK-based, privately held medical device company that was formed in 2014 to bring to market innovative technology developed by Professor Ben Varcoe at the University of Leeds. The first application of this technology is VitalScan, a device that meets an urgent clinical need in global cardiology to rule out heart-related problems at point of admission to emergency departments, ensuring patients with chest pain access the right treatment faster.

Creavo takes home two Medilink Awards

Coventry-based Creavo Medical Technologies has scooped two awards at the annual MedilinkWM Medical & Healthcare Business Awards in the Start Up and Innovation categories, the first ever company to win two awards in the same year.

The awards, which marked their 15th anniversary this year, celebrate the most successful and innovative medical and healthcare companies working in the West Midlands and winners will now go on, along with the other regional Medilink Award winners from around the UK, to compete in the Medilink UK Awards in April this year.

Creavo Medical Technologies was established to commercialise technology that was developed by Professor Ben Varcoe at the University of Leeds following 10 years’ research into a new area of quantum physics.

The first application of this technology is VitalScan – a device that meets an urgent global cardiology clinical need of more accurately ‘ruling out’ cardiac problems at point of admission to emergency departments. It is a battery powered, portable device that can be deployed to a patient’s bedside and has been dubbed ‘the first new imaging modality since MRI’.

CEO of Creavo Medical Technologies, Steve Parker, said: “We are the first company in the history of the event to receive two of the five awards in the same year so are, naturally, delighted.

“These awards are testament to the commitment of the Creavo team whose hard work has helped us to achieve several major milestones in the last few months, including receiving CE mark registration for VitalScan. We are about to start clinical trials of VitalScan at four of the UK’s largest emergency departments and are in a very strong position to build on in 2017.”

Richard Stone, Chief Executive at Medilink West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is home to some of the most innovative and successful medical and healthcare companies, each with a great commitment to support product and service development with a view to enrich healthcare in both the region and beyond. We have strong regional networks of collaboration and that was reflected with the mixed representatives from the region’s medical and healthcare technology sectors.

“The evening was a great success and we’re proud of not only our winners, but all of our finalists whose limitless drive, imagination and achievements were celebrated in recognition of the impact that they have made to the medical and healthcare sector in the West Midlands, helping to drive up economic prosperity, as well as improve health.”

Quantum Imaging nominated for best emerging Med Tech Company award

Quantum Imaging nominated for best emerging Med Tech Company award

Quantum Imaging has been shortlisted for an OBN Award in the category of best emerging Med Tech Company for its development of ground-breaking diagnosis and detection technology.

The awards, now in their eighth year, celebrate innovation and achievement across the UK life sciences industry and recognise achievements from emerging to late stage research and development companies, as well as life sciences investors.

A judging panel of industry experts will decide the overall winner in each category, with the winning companies being announced at the OBN Awards Ceremony on Thursday 6th October at the Oxford Town Hall.

CEO of Quantum Imaging, Steve Parker, said: “We are very pleased to be shortlisted for such a prestigious industry award. 2016 has been a very successful year for us so far with award recognition, a growing team and our first product, VitalScan, moving towards commercialisation with CE marking expected this autumn and clinical trials due to start towards the end of the year with a multicentre international clinical study”.

“Being shortlisted for this award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team and I am very proud to work with such an exciting and innovative team of professionals.”

Welcome Robert Harrison to the team

Robert Harrison is latest addition to the Quantum Imaging technical team. As our mechanical design and production engineer, Robert will be focused on developing our mechanical designs, overseeing the supply chain and ensuring the quality of our devices achieves the highest quality standards. Robert served as an apprentice and engineer with Rolls Royce, and more recently as an engineer with Caterpillar, and Sierra CP.

We welcome Robert to our growing team and his support on our mission to becoming a volume manufacturer of high quality, precision, medical devices.

Welcome Robert!

Steve Parker of Quantum Imaging comments on Journal of American Cardiology

Steve Parker of Quantum Imaging comments on a paper in the Journal of American College of Cardiology’s (JACC) on whether the use of high-sensitivity troponin will increase the frequency of MI diagnoses.

 

A paper recently published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology (JACC) illustrates the  challenges associated with the increasing use of high-sensitivity troponin tests in the diagnosis and detection of acute cardiac events in emergency departments.

 

Cardiac troponin is a protein released into the blood when there is physical damage to the heart muscle itself. While troponin is a very effective way of identifying cardiac cell damage and it has a role to play in detecting heart attacks and the whole range of Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS), the challenge comes when smaller and smaller amounts of the protein are identified. High-sensitivity troponin tests are undoubtedly more specific, but they begin to identify trace amounts of the protein that may be present naturally in a person’s body. The JACC paper cites that approximately 10% of men over 65 years would test positive for troponin when they had no cardiac event symptoms. Given people in this age range are more likely to come to hospital complaining of chest pain and the fact that they are likely to have troponin occurring naturally, there is likely to be an increasing number of false positive troponin tests. Once a patient has received a positive troponin result they must be thoroughly investigated, meaning longer hospital stays, unnecessary therapies and investigation. This ultimately results in adding further strain and expense to already overstretched healthcare systems.

Cardiac troponin tests have an important place alongside all of the other tools available to a physician in the emergency detection of acute coronary events. But, as more and more sensitive tests become available, there is a corresponding increase in the need for tools to identify the false positives from the system. That’s where Magnetocardiography (MCG), the technology utilised by Quantum Vitalscan, comes in as it has the potential capability to identify these ‘false positive’ patients as well as those identified at initial triage, quickly, safely  and reliably in a simple, fast and non-invasive test.

Troponin tests are a ‘rule in’ test, meaning that a negative troponin test cannot rule out unstable angina, or an early evolving heart attack before any muscle damage can be detected (because troponin only appears in the blood several hours after the onset of heart damage). A positive test, regardless of whether the levels represent natural cell demise or a potential cardiac event, requires thorough investigation which means longer hospital stays and additional tests to be carried out on potentially healthy patients. Whether positive or negative, it is clear that troponin tests, including high-sensitivity tests, are not accurate enough to be used in isolation.

MCG, however, is a ‘rule out’ test. This means it looks for normal (non ischemic) heart function and can do so with near 100% accuracy. It ‘rules out’ cardiac-related problems and therefore enables non-cardiac patients to be identified quickly, potentially saving hospitals valuable time and resources. Where normal heart function is not detected, patients can then go on to be tested using ‘rule in’ tests, such as troponin to determine the specific problem and subsequent treatment. MCG is not a replacement for troponin tests, but it helps to support ‘rule in’ tests by ensuring that patients with normal heart function are identified early and not sent for these types of test. We believe that this will reduce the additional financial burden due to levels of false positive troponin tests because those with normal heart function would not be tested in the first place.

High sensitivity troponin tests do represent a significant technological milestone in the diagnosis and management of cardiac events. The JACC paper states that this technological advancement will likely increase the frequency of correct diagnosis and make more efficient the care of some heart-related problems. It believes that the implications for the entire health care system must be considered because the identification of elevated troponin levels from conditions other than heart-related problems will also increase, with the potential to increase subsequent testing and prolong inpatient care. That is why we believe that MCG as found in Quantum Vitalscan will be a key tool to work in conjunction with other tests to ensure that heart problems are diagnosed and detected as accurately as possible, potentially helping to save lives.

’Will the use of high-sensitivity troponin increase the frequency of diagnosis of MI?’ was published on the American College of Cardiology’s website in June 2016 by Purav Mody MD and James A. de Lemos MD. It is available to read in full here.