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Non-invasive medical monitoring and smart needles: electronics makes it possible

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Let’s take blood pressure as an example. Central or aortic blood pressure is a better predictor of cardiovascular health than standard brachial pressure. Bioimpedance spectroscopy enables to develop new non-invasive central blood pressure measurement devices that take patient’s blood pressure from the wrist. This is recorded and matched with the central aortic blood pressure curve through a transfer function.

Another example—using needles. Physicians traditionally rely on their experience to guide the needle into the human body during an invasive procedure. In spinal anaesthesia, for example, the physician often does not reach the spinal canal with the first attempt. The duration of spinal puncture may vary from 9 seconds to 19 minutes. Repetitive probing costs valuable time and increases the risk of complications such as bacterial infections and headaches. Bioimpedance spectroscopy-based information helps to navigate the needle into the body to reach the required destination.

Injeq is a medical device company that has developed a new generation of smart needles for real-time tissue identification. The solution is based on the Quadra impedance mapping system integrated with Injeq’s custom software for tissue identification.

The new device guides the physician to the right location in the body using audio signalling, thus improving the safety and efficiency of spinal anaesthesia, intrathecal injections and other invasive medical procedures.

The smart needle can be customised for different clinical applications. It is already used in lumbar puncture, spinal anaesthesia and intra-articular injections in orthopaedics and rheumatology.

Contact:

Prof. Mart Min

Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics

Tallinn University of Technology

mart.min@ttu.ee

This article was supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Estonian Research Council.

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