HeartKinetics develops solution for daily home cardiac monitoring

The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for people living with cardiovascular disease. Non-urgent and scheduled cardiac consultations have been postponed and patients with acute symptoms are concerned about attending hospital. In future, however, hospital visits for cardiac monitoring could be a thing of the past, thanks to a wearable device based on space research being developed by one of the first companies to be incubated at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Belgium.
There are 121 million people living with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the US and 49 million in the EU. Congestive heart failure (CHF), which may be caused by coronary artery disease, hypertension or valvular heart disease, among others, is the most common end stage of CVD and represents up to 3% of total healthcare expenditure. Yet currently, patients may only be monitored in hospital a few times a year and in between are left uncertain and anxious.

What if these patients could easily perform a cardiac function test at home in only two minutes, saving time travelling to the hospital and receiving more frequent analysis? That is the aim of HeartKinetics, which has designed the Kinocardiograph (Kino) to fill this gap.

There are two Kino prototypes. One is an app that measures myocardial activity through a smartphone’s own motion sensors. HeartKinetics aims to have this available in the Apple and Android stores in July. The second is a medical device consisting of two units, one of which is placed on the chest and the other on the lower back. After an initial calibration by a cardiologist, patients can take measurements at home in under 45 seconds and transmit them for diagnosis via a smartphone or tablet. This provides accurate assessment of both the mechanical and electrical myocardial functions, together with hemodynamic parameters.

The Kino technology enables a patient to monitor myocardial activity at home using either the motion sensors in a smartphone or a device provided by a cardiologist, and transmit the data for diagnosis. The medical device consists of two units that measure mechanical and electrical myocardial functions, together with hemodynamic parameters.
The Kino technology enables a patient to monitor myocardial activity at home using either the motion sensors in a smartphone or a device provided by a cardiologist, and transmit the data for diagnosis. The medical device consists of two units that measure mechanical and electrical myocardial functions, together with hemodynamic parameters.

Breakthrough medicine powered by space
The majority of hospital admissions for CHF are re-admissions. Approximately 22% of people discharged from hospital with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days. As a consequence of damage to the heart, the heart loses its ability to pump effectively.

Evaluating the prognosis of heart failure usually requires trained healthcare professionals and costly equipment. Today, more than ever, we need new ways to monitor patients remotely when they are discharged from the hospital, in particular providing telemonitoring of cardiac mechanical and electrical function.

Many everyday products have been inspired by R&D innovations from space agencies around the world, with space spin-offs particularly prevalent in the health and medicine sector. HeartKinetics has developed its Kino solution using over 10 years of research on astronaut cardiac function and its deconditioning in microgravity.

Far away from a trained cardiologist, astronauts require automated and easy-to-operate tools that provide an accurate overview of their cardiac function. For the cardiologist, it is essential to access assessments of both the heart’s electrical/rhythm function, which is typically done with an electrocardiogram (ECG), and the mechanical function, which usually done with echocardiography. Although there are many ECG wearables, there is no such solution for the mechanical function assessment of the heart. The Kino was developed to fill this gap and HeartKinetics is now incubated at ESA BIC Belgium to further develop its strategy to bring the Kino to market.

Life-saving technology
The Kino is a non-invasive telemonitoring solution based on a calibrated measurement of the kinetic energy of the cardiac contraction in linear and angular dimensions. The Kino smartphone solution uses the smartphone’s accelerometers and gyroscopes sensors which, when placed on the chest, can record myocardial contraction efforts and rhythm. The Kinocardiograph portable device allows both local and global mechanical cardiac activity assessment, together with a regular ECG.

Kino shares information about a patient’s cardiac health status with all members of the multidisciplinary medical team to optimise follow-up, especially after worsening heart failure.

The Kinocardiograph device has already been used in clinical trials in the Netherlands and Belgium. Now, in response to the new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, HeartKinetics has accelerated its development plan, including implementing essential security technology from Swiss company PrYv to ensure data privacy and security. A pilot study will start in July 2020, with over 500 patients in Belgium and the Netherlands using the smartphone app to help healthcare teams maintain their regular care offering in the difficult context of lockdown, while clinical teams will trial the medical device prototype at cardio consultations.

In 2017, HeartKinetics won the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) Inventor Award, with other recognition including selection for the Alpha programme at WebSummit 2019. Organisations including YesDok, Tessan, Bodyo, Altericare and Doctoranytime have all expressed an interest in Kino as a solution that could revolutionise cardiac function telediagnostics.

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life.

Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early stage incubation programs, feasibility studies to large-scale demonstration projects.

Launch of 2 new platforms to gather healthcare actors around COVID-19

Several initiatives have emerged following the health crisis caused by COVID-19. The partners of MedTech Wallonia have thus responded with the launch of 2 new platforms. The Need4Health platform, set up by the WeLL, Living Lab e-santé wallon of the Mecatech Cluster, within the framework of Medtech Wallonia and supported by various public actors. The BioWin Cooperation Platform COVID-19, that aims to gather and structure the initiatives around 6 urgent themes.

How to register on the Need4Health platform? https://need4health.be/

How to register on the BioWin Cooperation platform? Visit the website : https://biowin-cooperation-platform-covid-19.b2match.io/

Belgian startup Osimis innovates with a new collaborative medical imaging software

Art Liège-based Osimis uses open source software to build innovative collaboration tools for medical imaging. Its newest solution, Lify, simplifies the exchange and consultation of medical imaging studies. The startup has just completed its third round of financing of €2.3 million to further the development of the Lily platform.

We found in Lify a certain flexibility, responsiveness and customization of the tool that goes beyond the robustness of the system that had already been validated by our IT teams,” said Patrice Sapey, Director of the Saint-Catherine Cancer Institute in Avignon.

An expert in a global niche market, Osimis aims to strengthen its presence in Europe, North America and Asia. The Osimis team is the main contributor to the Orthanc open source project for medical imaging. Orthanc has been downloaded more than 230,000 times and is used in 192 countries. Lifyis Osimis’ proprietary platform that allows for a fast and efficient deployment of Orthanc in the health industry.

As an initiator of the project in an academic setting thanks to the support of the University Hospital of Liège, I am delighted that we are thus opening a new page in the already long history of the free and open-source Orthanc ecosystem,” said Sébastien Jodogne, Chief Scientific Officer. “The scientific and societal impact of Orthanc has been praised internationally and is part of a philosophy of openness and dissemination of knowledge.

This fundraising will enable us to accelerate the development and international expansion of the Lify platform,” said Frédéric Lambrechts, CEO. “Our goal is to improve the clinical pathway and the patient’s life across all dimensions of medical imaging. Technology and innovation are tools that must be put to the service of the patient. Our approach to this effect is to bring algorithmic innovation closer to clinical practice in the context of medical imaging. We’re currently looking for computer scientists and commercial medical technology to keep up with demand.