A revolutionary diagnostic technique that sees under the skin sounds rooted in the realms of science fiction. But an invention akin to the Star Trek small handheld body scanner that shines light into the skin to detect early signs of heart disease and stroke could be on the market in less than two years.
The painless test takes no more than five minutes to detect Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), a condition that affects over 90 million people worldwide. What starts off as blood flow problems in the feet can develop fatal consequences if left unchecked. Once diagnosed, one in three people die within five years. But many deaths are preventable through early diagnosis, which is the aim of Dr Vincent Crabtree’s invention, PADD. Crabtree, an optical engineer from Loughborough University, was inspired by the plight of his grandfather who died at 55 after having his leg amputated due to PVD.
PADD represents a futuristic way to check out circulatory health that uses an infrared light beam no more powerful than a TV remote control. Quick and simple to use, this state of the art technology could replace the ankle brachial pressure index, a traditional pressure cuff measurement system.
Anna Seddon | alfa
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