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New predictive tool created specifically for heart failure

31 July, 2007

Melbourne based biotechnology company HD Medical Group Limited is moving rapidly towards international application of its world first, non-invasive heart failure prediction device, based on core technology licensed from the CSIRO ICT Centre.

Managing Director of HD Medical, Jay Jethwa, says that the device, known as the ViScope®, has the potential to revolutionise the early detection and management of heart diseases.

"The integration of two breakthrough technologies will set a new gold standard for heart diagnostics, which could lead to the creation of a predictive tool for heart failure. This will help us tackle the scourge of heart-related problems and bring economic benefits to Australia via a substantial potential export market," says Jethwa.

"We see this as benefiting both patients and doctors and is suitable for application in both developing and developed countries."

The HD Medical technology is based on mechanical heart sound analysis for early detection of cardiac diseases, a method which overcomes many of the limitations of current approaches which rely on echocardiography and stethoscopes.

Research Director, Wireless Technologies at the CSIRO ICT Centre, Dr Jay Guo says that CSIRO has been working on non-contact vital signs research for a number of years leading to the appointment of HD Medical in late 2006.

"Our unique technology solution was perfectly aligned with HD medical’s vision for a predictive tool for heart failure," says Dr Guo.

HD medical has undertaken two rounds of capital raising (A$3.35M in 2005, followed by A$3.5M in 2007) to develop its products, and initiate commercialisation and clinical trials of the device.

In Australia, clinical trials will be undertaken at Monash University Centre for Clinical Research Excellence at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne under the direction of cardiologist, Professor Henry Krum. Results from the trials are expected soon and a further clinical validation trial is planned.

In the US, a clinical trial at the University of California San Francisco has produced favourable initial results which will be presented at the American Society of Echocardiography annual conference in Seattle in June.

Another step towards adoption of the technology is a proposal by HD Medical and Media Lab Asia to the Indian Government for roll-out of its device in India as part of an initiative in rural telemedicine.