Could a video shot on a cell phone alert a doctor to an increased risk for a patient developing diabetes or high blood pressure? NuraLogix, developer of contactless health monitoring technology, aims to do just that with its platform that uses a video selfie to detect patterns of blood flow with its proprietary Transdermal Optical Imaging technology.
Increased access to screening
Home screening with a cell phone could significantly broaden access to assessment for elevated blood pressure and prediabetes, said Dr. Keith Thompson, CMO at NuraLogix, which may address issues of health equity and access to care. “The exciting thing about this technology is how we can democratize or distribute these types of services to the population with minimal burden on clinics, physicians or lab testing facilities.”
Dr. Thompson previously worked as a general practitioner for 30 years and was limited to in-office screening methods for testing, a process that is time and labor intensive for patients and healthcare staff. “Imagine being able to screen all my patients with this ubiquitous technology. They could do that themselves with minimal strain on clinical time,” Thompson said.
Screening for prediabetes with the research tool is based on two thresholds and evaluates whether a patient’s fasting blood glucose is above 5.5 mmol/L and their HbA1c is above 5.7%. Prediabetes screening is currently under investigation and the blood pressure screening test is not yet available for use as the company pursues regulatory action.
The technology can also capture data for many patients unaware of impending health problems. “46% of patients do not realize they have hypertension and are not treated,” said Dr. Thompson. The same is true for many with prediabetes. “Many patients with prediabetes don’t realize they have it. 70 percent of those people develop diabetes with all associated complications. Wouldn’t it be great if we could determine who is at risk sooner?”
Technology for remote photoplethysmography
The company’s video-based platform, Anura, measures the pattern of blood flow in a patient’s face using remote photoplethysmography and applies a machine learning-assisted model to analyze each patient’s risk of developing of certain disorders. Modeling was based on more than 40,000 cases with patients who developed pre-diabetes and/or had high blood pressure.
Photoplethysmography is a method commonly used by fingertip devices that measure blood flow and oxygen levels. These ubiquitous devices use a light source that shines through the skin. The Toronto-based Anura remote photoplethysmography technology uses reflected light to mimic this measurement and detect heart rate and other characteristics of blood flow, explains Dr. Thompson. The video should be about 30 seconds long and have enough light to provide a high quality signal-to-noise ratio.
The AI-assisted predictive modeling is currently available to deliver health information to users. The tool can also provide information on heart rate, cuffless blood pressure, respiratory rate and other measures that can predict the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, predict 10-year risk of death from stroke or heart attack and other conditions. Patients would then see their doctor for further investigation.