Innovative cardiac scanner for early diagnosis of heart conditions

January 29th, 2010 - 5:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 29 (ANI): Scientists at the University of Leeds are designing a new cardiac scanner that will allow earlier diagnosis of heart conditions.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is funding the portable magnetometer.

The device is ultra sensitive to magnetic fluctuations and will thus be able to detect numerous conditions, like heart problems in foetuses, much earlier that tools presently used.

It will also be smaller, cheaper and simpler to handle than other devices used for similar purposes.

Additionally, the new scanner will be able to function without patients having to undress and could also be taken to a patient’s home.

Professor Ben Varcoe, who is leading the research team, said: “The new system gets round previous difficulties by putting the actual detector in its own magnetic shield.

“The sensor placed over the area being examined lives outside the shielded area and transmits signals into the detector. The sensor head is made up of a series of coils that cancel out unwanted signals and amplifies the signals that are needed. So the tiny magnetic fields produced by a person’s heart can be transmitted into the heavily shielded environment. What we’ve been able to do is combine existing technology from the areas of atomic physics and medical physics in a completely unique way.”

He added: “Early detection of heart conditions improves the prospects for successful treatment. This system will also quickly identify people who need immediate treatment…. But our device won’t just benefit patients - it will also help ease the strain on healthcare resources and hospital waiting lists.”

The device would be ready for medical use in another three years. (ANI)

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