Monday, 30 March 2015

Heart and Lung Sound Analyzer

Heart Sound Analyzer (primary patent 85/KOL/2008 )
Inventors: Goutam Saha, Samit Ari, Suman Senapati

Lung Sound Analyzer (primary patent 515/KOL/2011) 
Inventors: Goutam Saha, Parthasarathi Bhattacharya, Ashok Mandal

All inventors are from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur except Dr. Parthasarathi Bhattacharya who is from Institute of Pulmocare & Research, Kolkata

    Heart Sound Analyzer is an integrated device for signal conditioning, data acquisition, analysis, characterization and decision support for identifying valvular heart diseases from heart sound signal. Lung Sound Analyzer provides a computer aided diagnostic system for removing heart sound interference from lung sound signals and detection of lung condition.

WHO statistics show that heart disease is the most widespread and lung diseases come next. We find that one editorial of British Medical Journal "Heart" was titled: Valvular Heart Disease: Next Cardiac Epidemic. In a country like India we find that high medical diagnostic cost often makes people avoid accessing healthcare services at early stages of suffering when it is more curable. Statistics show that many of these tests do not yield positive results. The usefulness of the inventions are that following objective assessment by such a device, physicians can recommend costlier but more accurate diagnostic tests based on the need. Important features of these inventions can be outlined as

 - Four subsystems: signal collection to decision support
 - Truly non-invasive, portable, easy to learn & use
 - Three forms of visual clues in addition audio clue
 - Side by side comparison for 33 abnormalities
 - Comparison with past record to assess progress
 - Auto-suggestion for  9 abnormalities, increasable
 - Can be used as training device
 - Useful features like zooming, play back in loop
 - It also uses four subsystems and gives audio and visual
    clues after removing heart sound interference.

On commercialization prospect, we find that the market price for this device is expected to be around Rs. 5,000. The market size of this is huge as the technology makes traditional stethoscope an objective assessment device. The inventors expects these to be on the must-have list of every healthcare professionals who look for an objective assistant tool. Even a fraction of this market makes huge volume. When demonstrated, expert from AIIMS, Delhi said that 20,000 such units can immediately be sold just as a training device to medical students. IKP, Hyderabad reviewed it as a platform based technology that can lead to many derivatives. IC2 Institute, USA review recommended commercialization. The Heart Sound  Analyzer was a winner of DST Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program. Following is the FICCI made video on this technology.

Recently, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) organized a one day exhibition on 11th March, 2015 at Rashtrapati Bhavan with the theme "Innovation in Medical Science & Technology"  as a part of week long "Festival of innovation" that was inaugurated by Honourable President of India For this, proposals were sought from leading institutions from all over India that includes IITs, AIIMS and other organizations in public and private sectors. After two rounds of review, a total of forty five technologies were selected for the exhibition. From IIT Kharagpur, Heart / Lung Sound Analyzer was selected and Prof. Goutam Saha from was present in the exhibition on behalf of the IIT Kharagpur research team. 

When we talked to Prof. Goutam Saha on the differentiation such inventions can bring, he said, "An extremely low cost, easy to use, primary diagnostic tool like the Heart or Lung Sound Analyzer can prove to be very useful in bringing people closer to healthcare professionals and in turn ensure quality healthcare."

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