iHealth, UCSF And UC Berkeley Lab Collaborate On Clinical Study

Testing arterial endothelial function with new blood pressure cuff technology may lead to predicting heart attacks

Dec 18, 2013, 08:00 ET from iHealth Lab Inc.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, iHealth Lab Inc. announced it is collaborating with UC San Francisco and University of California's Berkeley Lab on a pilot study to make arterial endothelial function testing as easy to perform as a simple blood pressure measurement.  Research has shown that flow-mediated dilation (FMD) studies of endothelial function are a sensitive and independent early assessor of current heart health and predictor of future heart attacks and strokes.  In this study, Berkeley Lab's Dr. Jonathan Maltz is testing a unique new algorithm and methodology to assess endothelial function using a modified blood pressure cuff and mobile application custom-designed by iHealth.

"Measuring blood flow through assessing endothelial function is theoretically a better predictor of future heart health than measuring cholesterol," said Dr. Maltz. "However, traditional methods of assessing endothelial function using ultrasonography require a great degree of skill, experience and subject compliance to obtain high-quality measurements. We have developed a method of measuring changes in the volume of the brachial artery that requires neither relatively costly and bulky ultrasound equipment, nor any technical skill on the part of the operator."   

For this pilot study, which is part of the broader Health eHeart Study, instead of ultrasound, an iHealth blood pressure cuff is used to take the measurement and data is passed directly to an iHealth mobile application. This convenient and potentially more accurate method of endothelial function assessment will allow clinicians and individuals to obtain sensitive feedback regarding the effect of interventions such as smoking cessation, diet and exercise regimens, antihypertensive therapy, and cholesterol-lowering medications on arterial function.

The Lead Investigator of the study, Dr. Jeffrey Olgin, Chief, Division of Cardiology, UCSF School of Medicine, has begun Phase 1 of the cuff-measured flow-mediated dilation (cFMD) study in collaboration with the Veteran's Administration (VA). The data will be run through Dr. Maltz's patent pending algorithm, and subjects will be assigned a baseline FMD score.  Measurements will be simultaneously collected and compared to tests using the traditional echo-measured FMD (uFMD) methodology.

"Using iHealth's technology in this study makes collecting data much easier, cost effective and scalable than using the conventional uFMD methodology," said Dr. Olgin.  "Our hope is that data from this clinical study will help prove a new clinical method for being able to more accurately predict if an individual is in imminent danger of having a heart attack."

"By collaborating with UCSF and UC Berkeley, we believe we can help clinicians move beyond detection and prevention to actual prediction of the number one killer of adults in the U.S. today," said Adam Lin, President of iHealth Lab. "We look forward to continuing our work with the medical community by innovating on our devices to help them collect, track, and upload data from their subjects in the most convenient, consistent, and cost effective manner possible.  In doing so, we hope to do our part in helping individuals lead healthier lives."

About iHealth Lab, Inc.
iHealth is dedicated to helping people lead healthier lives. They are a leader in the design and manufacture of consumer-friendly, mobile personal healthcare products that are connected through the cloud. The company focuses on delivering high quality products that are easy-to-use, making it simple for consumers to accurately measure, track and share a full range of health vitals. By connecting the data through the cloud, consumers are able to see a more comprehensive view of their vitals and take an active role in managing their health. Visit www.ihealthlabs.com for more information.

About Dr. Jeffrey E. Olgin, M.D., Chief, Division of Cardiology, Co-Director, Heart and Vascular Center, University of California San Francisco Dr. Olgin is a practicing cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher. He runs a coordinating center for cardiovascular clinical trials, and his research interests include atrial fibrillation, arrhythmias, and risk prediction and prevention of cardiovascular disease.  He is one of the principal investigators (along with Gregory Marcus, M.D., and Mark Pletcher, M.D., M.P.H.) for the ambitious UCSF Health eHeart Study, which endeavors to track the heart health of one million people globally over time and make valuable preventative predictions.

About Jonathan Maltz, Ph.D., Scientist at the University of California's Berkeley Lab, Dr. Maltz is an adjunct assistant professor and a practicing scientist. He has published multiple works across a variety of topics bringing together technology and medicine. His research interests cover a wide range of topics ranging from medical imaging to instrumentation and calibration algorithms for PET instrumentation. He has 15 granted US patents for breakthroughs he has developed over the last several years. In 2005, he received the Martin Black Prize from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine for his earlier work on the assessment of endothelial function.

SOURCE iHealth Lab Inc.