Everist Health, a health technology company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has launched a new test that predicts patients’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a preventative measure that could make a big different for susceptible populations.
The non-invasive test, branded the AngioDefender, uses plethysmography to measure the flexibility of a patient’s arteries, one of the best risk predictors, according to a statement from the company. This information, combined with other vital data like blood sugar and cholesterol levels, can give medical professionals an estimate of a patient’s heart age.
The test is light and mobile and does not require a specially trained operator, making it accessible to hospital systems around the world that may be poorly developed. Everist plans to submit the technology to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the next few months.
"Eighteen million people die every year from cardiovascular disease," said Everist Health CEO Matt Bartlam in a statement. "It is the world's number one killer. I believe our test can make a major contribution to improving the world's cardiovascular health for several reasons.”
If the test shows that a patient’s heart age is lower than their actual age, physicians would suggest they maintain those healthy habits. But if the heart age is higher than the person’s actual age, physicians would likely suggest lifestyle differences in diet, exercise and smoking, as to avoid heart attack or stroke.
Additionally, the test can reveal cardiovascular problems in people that appear to be at low risk, such as athletes, younger patients and non-smoking individuals.
"Although there are other ways of estimating an individual's heart age, they tend to be based on general historical population data but importantly our test permits a personal calculation based on the individual's actual medical information," Bartlam said. "I believe our test will become the gold standard for measuring heart health and predicting future risk."