Most modern blood pressure cuffs use the oscillometric technique, in which the cuff measures one value (mean arterial pressure) and an algorithm calculates systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. However, this indirect method can produce inaccuracies, and single-point measurements lead to an inaccurate hypertension diagnosis in 30% of patients. While intraarterial lines can be used for direct and continuous blood pressure readings, they are highly invasive and reserved for inpatient use.
ViTrack is different:
it is a direct, continuous, yet non-invasive way of measuring systolic and
diastolic blood pressures.
“We went back
to the basics and came up with a completely new method of measuring blood
pressure,” says Mohan Thanikachalam, Founder and CEO of Dynocardia, the
company developing ViTrack. “We built a unique optomechanical sensor which
captures the spatiotemporal force information in real time — that’s the proprietary
methodology. We [then] came up with specific optical signatures that directly
correspond to systolic and diastolic blood pressure. And since we’re looking at
spatiotemporal information, we can do it continuously.”
Thanikachalam, a cardiovascular surgeon, describes non-invasive continuous blood pressure measurement as “the holy grail of blood pressure monitoring.” Without it, he explains, “we don’t have reliable data for managing patients.”
This is true
for both inpatient and outpatient medicine. For inpatient care, says Thanikachalam,
“there’s a monitoring gap. Even to this day, what we use is invasive arterial
lines for continuous measurement.” And for outpatient care, a single-point
measurement by cuff can result in diagnostic inaccuracies and difficulties in
blood pressure management. “For example,” Thanikachalam says, “[traditional
blood pressure cuffs] give us no idea about nighttime blood pressure; we know
that’s one of the major causes of mortality.”
The core technology inside the ViTrack device was developed at Tufts University School of Medicine and MIT, and the company itself was founded in 2019. Thanikachalam hopes that product development will allow the company to begin clinical studies by May or June of this year. The ViTrack will focus initially on blood pressure monitoring in the setting of inpatient care. The device will be extremely cost-effective, according to Thanikachalam, and it will have the ability to integrate with existing hospital monitoring systems.