Scientists have designed a novel wireless device which may accurately detect heart dysfunction in children who have survived cancer.
Childhood cancer survivors are advised to undergo screening for the detection of heart dysfunction because of known anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity.
However, screening with echocardiography -- the standard of care for monitoring heart function -- can be highly variable and limited.
Another alternative is cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, which is expensive and is not widely accessible.
In the study, the team tested Vivio -- a prototype handheld instrument which collects pulse waves and phonocardiogram data from the carotid artery. The results showed that the device was accurate and it displayed a low false-negative rate as compared to CMR imaging.
"This study is the first step in thinking about new paradigms of long-term monitoring and care delivery for cancer survivors who are at risk for severe and life-threatening health conditions," said Saro Armenian, Director at City of Hope National Medical Centre in California.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, involved data from 191 patients exposed to anthracycline chemotherapy.
The data of the participants was collected using Vivio which then streamed wirelessly to a compatible device such as a smart phone or e-tablet.
This mobile health platform negates the need for result interpretation and allows for real-time monitoring of heart health, explained Armenian.
Using a specialised algorithm, Vivio measures the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), which is commonly used to assess heart function and measures the percentage of blood ejected from the left ventricle of the heart, Armenian added.
However, the author said that Vivio is not currently intended to replace echocardiography or CMR imaging.
"One possible implementation of Vivio could be for preliminary screening," Armenian explained.