HAIFA, ISRAEL and NEW YORK – Researchers from the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed an integrated system for early diagnosis of diseases using wearable monitors, according to a paper published in Advanced Materials. The system is able to continuously monitor physiological indicators without disturbing the user, can repair itself in the event of a tear or scratch and receives the energy required for operation from the wearer. “This system will not just continuously monitor physiological markers in the wearer,” said Hossam Haick, one of the researchers, in a statement. “It will also aid the long-term collection of extensive information that may be used for epidemiological studies.” Although the system’s components already exist, a platform that integrates them is still in development.
PRINCETON, N.J. – Engineers from Princeton University are working to use sensor wearable sensor technology to develop software that could diagnose multiple diseases in real-time, like warning a patient who is developing diabetes.
In a recently published paper, “IEEE Transactions on Multi-Scale Computing Systems,” researchers led by Niraj Jha wrote that their system, the Hierarchical Health Decision Support System, used biomedical data to successfully detect five diseases in simulations created from patient data. The system diagnosed Type 2 diabetes with 78% accuracy, arrhythmia with 86% accuracy, urinary bladder disorder with 99% accuracy, hypothyroid with 95% accuracy and renal pelvis nephritis with 94% accuracy.
“This opens up the possibility for the first time that outside of a clinic, individuals can monitor whether they have developed or can develop a disease,” said Jha, a professor of electrical engineering, who developed the new technology with Hongxu Yin, an electrical engineering Ph.D. student.
HDSS used publicly available, anonymized biomedical data from hundreds of patients and fed it through eight machine-learning algorithms that had been trained by the researchers to recognize typical signs of these diseases. The data consisted of physiological measurements collected by commercially available medical sensors that are embedded in small electronic devices attached to hospital patients to track things like blood pressure and galvanic skin response.
The HDSS system is unique because it compares the data points to publicly available data about disease symptoms. This allows the software to detect signs of trouble that patients aren’t aware of, or symptoms that they fail to reveal to their doctors.
Jha wrote that rather than focus on in-patient treatment, the team is working to apply data from wearable sensors intended for everyday use, such as watches or wristbands. The approach would provide physicians with symptomatic information that patients might have forgotten or not noticed, and would also allow for monitoring patients after a diagnosis.
The researchers said the ultimate goal is both to increase efficiency in health care, and to allow for earlier diagnoses and better patient outcomes. Yin said the researchers eventually would like to expand the type of data available for use in diagnoses, such as patient records or genetic information.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The New Jersey Health Foundation has awarded a $50,000 Innovation Grant to Eon Soo Lee, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, to advance the development of a microfluidic chip that provides instant diagnostic results, advancing earlier detection and diagnosis for patients.
If successful, the biochip will expedite the diagnosis of many diseases, including viral infections and cancers.
“We are interested in Dr. Lee’s project because the biochip he is developing would provide instant results at a local office or point of care without needing sample preparation,” said Dr. George Heinrich, vice chairman and CEO of NJHF, in a statement.
The biochip will also reduce the possibility of sample contamination by minimizing the need for flow control devices and connecting tubes.
Heinrich said doctors currently rely on diagnostic devices that require a minimum of four hours of sample preparation through centralized diagnostic centers.
“As we know, early detection can improve treatment outcomes for patients significantly,” he said.
Lee previously won funding for his research from the National Science Foundation I-Corps program as an NJIT site team, and then from the agency’s national program.
“The customer insights Dr. Lee gained through I-Corps provided market validation for the discussions with New Jersey Health Foundation that led to this project,” said Judith Sheft, associate vice president for technology and enterprise development at NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute, in a statement. “We anticipate additional collaborations with NJHF that will leverage our respective capabilities to bring new technologies to the market.”