A researcher from Cornell University along with Blue Highway Inc. a new technology incubator in New York state are working together on a non-contact cardiac imaging system called “Magnetocardiography” (MCG). The system uses extremely sensitive novel sensors to measure magnetic fields produced by the heart’s electrical activity and is a new way of accurately analyzing cardiac function without using nuclear imaging, functional MRI, or ultrasound.
An MCG device will output data reflecting cardiac functionality by mapping the heart’s magnetic field and identify functional abnormalities. Magnetic field detection is enabled by an array of chip-based sensors and digital signal processing modules integrated on a planar substrate.
When the sensor array is moved over a patient’s chest, magnetic data is collected and proprietary algorithms generate a map of the patient’s cardiac function which can be represented as an image or wave form.
Present ECG available technology cannot locate conductive pathways in the heart. Because conduction pathways are often the source of arrhythmias, clinicians lack complete cardiac function information. To date, detecting arrhythmias has been a time consuming process for clinicians but with the advent of a low-cost non-contact assessment tool could revolutionize cardiac screening across the continuum of global healthcare settings. The MCG device is able to identify abnormalities or weaknesses not detected by ECGs.
In addition, the device does not transfer energy into the body, measurement is unaffected by the patient’s clothing and body size, the device has superior electrical sensing sensitivity, operable in electrically noisy environments, and doesn’t require electromagnetically shielded exam rooms.
It is expected that the total available market for MCG is $242 million and the targeted market segments include cardiology clinics, emergency departments, large primary care practices, hospitals, and out-patient clinics.
Blue Highway envisions a first generation embodiment of the MCG device to include a full array system of sensors connected to a processing and computing system capable of imaging the magnetic field generated by depolarization and repolarization currents in the chest cavity during a cardiac cycle. The device will enable clinicians to map the heart in both time and space. Second generation development may include a portable device.
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