Israel, US researchers develop software that predicts blood pressure instability

VitalMiner monitors vital signs and uses algorithms to warn of impending episodes of hemorrhagic shock before symptoms appear, providing several crucial hours for treatment

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Illustrative: A team of surgeons operating in the hospital (iStock)
Illustrative: A team of surgeons operating in the hospital (iStock)

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem have developed software to predict blood pressure instability in intensive care patients.

The software can monitor vital signs in real time and applies algorithms to predict impending episodes of hemodynamic instability, such as hemorrhagic shock, potentially up to several hours before symptoms first appear on currently available monitoring systems.

This is a critical window when clinical intervention is most successful, the researchers said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Ben-Gurion University’s technology transfer unit is now looking for a partner to help further develop and commercialize the technology.

Hemodynamic instability is defined as instability in blood pressure, in particular hypotension, which can lead to inadequate arterial blood flow to organs, and to organ failure. It is considered one of the most critical events that require effective and prompt intervention in the intensive care unit.

Once patients become unstable, treatment is much more difficult, and deaths and disease increase.

The new technology, named VitalMiner, enables the early prediction of hemodynamic instability episodes in intensive care patients, according to a statement put out by BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The software can connect either locally or remotely to clinical information systems and vital signs monitors in a variety of settings, including civilian and military intensive care units, emergency rooms, intensive care vehicles and home intensive care services.

In evaluation experiments on retrospective data from three hospitals, VitalMiner showed improved predictive capability of up to 6% in sensitivity — the ability to predict episodes — and up to 13% in specificity, the ability to identify false alarms. compared with existing systems, the statement said.

“Hemodynamic instability is a severe and life-threatening complication in the intensive care setting,” said Prof. Victor Garcia, the founding director of Trauma Services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, who jointly developed the software. “Earlier prediction of physiological deterioration of patients by using ‘smart’ monitoring software and machine learning algorithms will save lives and enable better informed resuscitation of the critically ill and injured.”

According to a report by Markets&Markets, the patient monitoring market is expected to reach some $25 billion by the end of 2023, from $18 billion in 2017, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of some 6%.

The VitalMiner software was developed by Garcia together with Prof. Mark Last from the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Prof. Raphael Udassin of the Pediatric Surgery Department, Hadassah University Hospital.

In 2012, Ben-Gurion University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital entered into a multi-year collaboration to address the lack of medical devices designed specifically for children.

The collaboration pairs BGU’s technical and engineering capabilities with the medical expertise of CCHMC physicians. To date, 210 projects have been reviewed under the collaboration, out of which seven were selected to receive up to $100,000 in funding, with all funding contingent upon achieving project-specific developmental milestones. The funds are contributed by both BGU and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Last year, a startup company, Xact Medical, was established based on a product that emerged from the collaboration.

“This is an excellent example of the kind of potentially life-saving inventions that emerged from our partnership with Cincinnati Children Hospital,” said Netta Cohen, chief executive officer of BGN Technologies. “This important invention will not only help save lives, but also shorten the length of ICU stay, thus lowering hospitalization costs. BGN is currently looking for a partner for further development and commercialization of this system.”

Most Popular
read more: