Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and is a major cause of disability. In 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 of these will have a recurrent attack. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.
When it comes to cardiac events and survival, the key factors for a successful recovery are time to diagnosis, accuracy of diagnosis, and appropriate clinical management. For patients suffering from a heart attack, every minute counts, yet the average time from start of chest pain to receiving ER medical attention is 3.2 hours. More shocking still, the average turn-around time of lab-based test results is 2.8 hours, even with the widespread of developing Chest pain centers across the USA.
“As a physician with primary training in cardiology, I am aware that basic medical research is critical to improving cardiac care. Yet new technology is increasingly offering the promise of better and more timely diagnoses,” says Dr. Yahia Gawad, CEO and director of Ontario-based CardioGenics Holdings Inc., which develops tests for the In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) test market, says. Dr. Gawad believes that with the minimum time to detect a heart attack using today’s lab-based immunodiagnostics is whopping 4.5 hours from symptom outset, faster and more efficient testing at the patient bedside is needed.
Gawad himself has played a significant role in this quest. CardioGenics’ QL Care® Analyzer is a fully portable, fully automated, compact analyzer that can deliver accurate results of cardiac tests anywhere. The device measures 8″ x 9″ x 5″, weighs approximately 7 pounds, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can operate for 8 to 10 hours between charges. A standard memory processor has the storage capacity to hold up to 5,000 patient records.
The technology is designed to be operated by both personnel who lack specific laboratory training as well as by testing specialists. The Analyzer can deliver the results of a cardiac test within 15 minutes. Once test results have been obtained, the data can be transferred to any network via RS323 and USB ports, with Bluetooth capability still in development. A touch LCD screen incorporates an intuitive graphical user interface that facilitates operation; the testing results are viewable on-screen and can also be printed out via an internal printer.
Dr. Gawad added, “The key to a timely diagnosis is to measure the difference between normal and abnormal concentrations of potential disease markers. Most immunoassay technologies in routine use in the emergency rooms do not have the sensitivity needed to do this effectively. New ultra-sensitive tests are needed to detect specific markers for heart attacks. Immunoassay developers are on a continuous hunt to discover technologies that can detect minute concentrations of proteins in clinical samples.”
For more information, log on to www.cardiogenics.com.