More than 26 million patients worldwide suffer from heart failure every year, according to the European Heart Failure Association. A disorder often associated with a bad diagnosis, with the consequent increase in mortality and morbidity, and frequent re-hospitalizations, which are a great problem for patients and their families, as well as a great economic burden for the healthcare system.
In fact, in Europe, costs related to heart failure account for approximately 2 % of the total healthcare expenses, and are usually associated with the patient's hospitalization. With an average patient hospitalization time of 11 days, the heart failure hospitalization cost is estimated approximately in € 23,000 per patient in the age group of 18-64 years old.
As life expectancy increases worldwide, we are facing new challenges of improving quality of life and healthcare at affordable costs, both for patients, and for the system in general. In the case of heart failure, the diagnosis is complicated, there is a wide spectrum of potential clinical manifestations of the disease and signs symptoms are often non-specific.
KardiaTool’s challenge is to achieve a fast, easy and reliable diagnosis of the disease, in order to ensure a subsequent personalized therapy for each patient.KardiaTool will develop a personalized platform and bring a new laboratory proven concept from the laboratory to clinic, addressing priority needs in healthcare diagnosis and therapy monitoring, an approach that is expected to considerable improve the healthcare delivery at the point of care and quality of life of patients, and reduce the healthcare costs.
The KardiaTool diagnostic and therapy control platform will provide health professionals with accurate results at the point of care, and in short time. In this way, patients can be quickly and easily diagnosed and treated accordingly.
The KardiaTool platform will include a portable device, KardiaPOC (point of care), to detect, in a fast and precise way, the biomarkers of heart failure. It will be coupled to the KardiaLOC device, a disposable and low cost laboratory-on-a-chip, which will integrate all types of sensors, actuators, microelectromechanical systems, microelectronics, biochemicals, microfluidic system, and functionalized magnetic nanoparticles in a single space, to detect the biomarkers from saliva samples.
The team of Prof. Joan Bausells at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) is working in the silicon microelectronic sensors that detect these biomarkers, and collaborate in the design of KardiaLOC.
Prof. Francesc Teixidor and his team at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) are working on the synthesis and functionalization of the magnetic nanoparticles, which are the support of the specific antibodies for each biomarker.
In addition, the platform will also include KardiaSoft, a decision-support software based on predictive modeling techniques which will analyze the data measured by the KardiaPOC and other patient’s data, directly added by the healthcare professionals, to deliver information on the diagnosis and the therapy monitoring.
KardiaTool, a 3.5-year project financed by the European Commission, includes the participation of fourteen partners from ten different countries: nine European countries and the United States. The team is formed by five universities, five research centers, two small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and two industrial partners. The members of the consortium of the KardiaTool project are:
Project website: http://www.kardiatool.eu/
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