26.08.2019 change 26.08.2019

Polish researchers are working on a new ECG from the surface of a beating heart

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

During bypass surgery, cardiac surgeons could use a device that would allow for recording ECG signal directly from the surface of the beating heart. This unique device called Heart Sense has been designed by Polish specialists.

A start-up was founded to facilitate the production and commercialisation of this product. The main author of the device is Dr. Grzegorz Suwalski, a cardiac surgeon from Warsaw. "Our goal is to create an innovative device for recording electrocardiographic (ECG) signals directly from the surface of a beating heart. This device will be used during coronary artery bypass surgery carried out without using extracorporeal circulation, on the beating heart" - the expert emphasizes.

Bypass implantation is the most common cardiac surgery in the world. In 2016, a total of over 833 thousand such procedures were carried out. Dr. Suwalski believes that surgery on a beating heart is a less invasive approach, reducing the number of postoperative complications. "Market data shows that in a few years it can be the dominant approach. However, we need to improve several elements of this procedure and that is exactly what we plan to do" - he argues.

The first step may be the introduction of Heart Sense. "At the critical stage of the surgery, the team of doctors temporarily loses access of the key cardiac monitoring tool, the ECG" - Dr. Suwalski explains. The most important part of this device is the electrode, which will have the form of a "petal" that will connect to the surface of the heart. It will be produced in a technology enabling the production of cheap, disposable items.

The technical architecture of the Heart Sense device, its commercialisation strategy and business plan have already been developed with the support of BTM Innovations. "In addition to supporting me in developing the technical side of this innovation, acquiring technology partners and creating a commercialisation strategy, the BTM Innovations team has also secured an investor to launch the project. Preparing the concept of development and establishing a start-up was a really long and challenging process" - explains Dr. Grzegorz Suwalski.

The project is also supported by the Bridge Alpha programme of the National Centre for Research and Development.

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