• Consortium to assess new instruments for early cardiovascular disease detection
    The STIMULUS project team, Agora building at the University of Turku (Credit: University of Turku)

Research News

Consortium to assess new instruments for early cardiovascular disease detection

May 23 2024

A consortium led by Finland’s University of Turku is developing novel imaging technology to assess adverse changes in microcirculatory status associated with hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD)  and heart failure(HF), leading to earlier detection of cardiovascular diseases. The STIMULUS - Speckle Technology and Digital Biomarkers of Microvascular Function for Monitoring Cardiovascular Diseases – project is funded by a European Innovation Council Pathfinder Challenges grant with a total EU budget is 3.9M€. 

With cardiovascular diseases the leading cause of death globally and affecting over 60 million people in the EU, it is important to diagnose changes in microvascular dysfunction and monitor early phases of the disease progress. The proposed technology for development, said the consortium, is the HEMI-speckle system, an integration of two existing prototypes, the multi-spectral optical sensory system and the speckle plethysmography (SPG) system. To assess the diagnostic value of these technologies for both HF and CKD populations, two clinical trials will be executed, at the same time as the new integrated solution will be developed. Lessons learnt from these clinical trials will be used for ongoing development of the integrated HEMI-speckle system; identification of new digital biomarkers from both the individual and integrated technology: for analysing the sensitivity and specificity of the two technologies for each population separately; and also to prove the validity of the technologies for the early assessment of microvascular function in the target population.

The University of Turku is overseeing a work package focused on instrument development, biosignal analysis and extraction of novel digital biomarkers, which is being conducted with consortium partners Imec, Aalborg University Hospital, Inserm, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, along with the Finnish Heart Association as associated partner.

A recent meeting at Turku, the first face-to-face gathering of the project partners since funding began in October 2023, provided the opportunity for deeper discussions, co-designing and joint planning of the next steps further facilitating a smooth flow of collaborative efforts.

More information online


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