We support the development of devices that assist in rapid and reliable diagnosis of diseases and conditions. A number of early stage projects have received pump prime funding (see below) to develop new devices. We also work closely with the Diagnostics Development Unit, located in the Accident and Emergency Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary, providing opportunities to test novel devices in a real world situation.
Commercialising LifeMap as a novel clinical tool for assessing risk of sudden cardiac death
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is responsible for 3 million deaths worldwide annually. The majority of these deaths are due to lethal ventricular arrhythmias (VA) which could be averted with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Over 350,000/year Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) are implanted, at a cost of £83,000 per quality adjusted life year (NICE). Of the ICDs implanted only ~40% are initiated to ‘shock’ the heart to re-establish rhythmicity, but no effective methods are currently available to better predict those individuals that would benefit from ICDs.
Professor Andre Ng and colleges are developing novel non-invasive effective screening test that would enable the stratification of individuals within the >32 million people at risk of heart attacks to identify those most likely to benefit from ICD implantation. This project has received MRC Confidence in Concept Funding through Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics (LD3) which aims to produce a CE marked, FDA approved device.
Additional funding secured through Leicester’s BRC, has allowed clinical testing of LifeMap in a real world setting, and work is now ongoing with commercial partners to ensure that the LifeMap technology can be effectively transitioned for clinical utility.
The LifeMap concept is currently protected by patents WO2011117608 (granted in China, Japan, Australia and USA; pending in Canada, Europe and India) and WO2015150831 granted in Australia (pending in China, Japan, USA, Canada, Europe and India).
Brain TV: non-invasive detection of severe brain injury
Improved triage of patients with acute acquired brain injury is important for identifying individuals who would benefit from rapid admission to major trauma centres equipped with neurosurgery, brain imaging and management systems for head trauma. Brain tissue velocimetry (Brain TV) is a non-invasive portable ultrasound system developed at the University of Leicester for continuous monitoring of intracranial brain tissue pulsations.
Dr Chung’s team have developed a prototype Brain TV acquisition system in collaboration with a leading manufacturer of physiological measurement systems, Nihon Kohden. This system allows synchronous recording of Brain TV waveforms in real-time, as well as cerebral blood flow, blood pressure, ECG, and end-tidal CO2 values. The system is currently under evaluation in patients with acute moderate/severe ischaemic and haemorrhagic brain injury. If fully validated the aim will be to expand out to other clinical applications including: ambulance and pre-hospital use, A&E triage of patients with suspected brain injury to guide imaging referrals and in the monitoring patients with severe brain injury to guide interventions/palliation. This project has received MRC Confidence in Concept Funding through Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics, which aims to produce a CE marked, FDA approved device.