Maastricht Spin-Off Develops Tool to Determine Severity of Cardiac Arrhythmiajanuary 19, 2017
YourRhythmics is a new spin-off company at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus that is developing an innovative medical device to determine the severity of atrial fibrillation, a prevalent form of cardiac arrhythmia. Based on the data the device collects, a cardiologist can determine the best treatment for patients with this disorder.
Atrial fibrillation – sudden heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat – is a very common form of cardiac arrhythmia in adults. More than 240,000 people in the Netherlands and more than six million Europeans suffer from this disorder. It can take up to two years for a doctor to successfully manage atrial fibrillation in a patient. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to find the right treatment, the smaller the chance of success and the greater the distress and uncertainty for the patient.
Advanced electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings make it possible to accurately measure the severity of atrial fibrillation. YourRhythmics’ new device uses a combination of body-surface and transesophageal electrodes to record the heart’s electrical activity. Specially developed software analyzes the recordings and recommends the most suitable therapy for that patient, based on a clinical database. As a result, patients suffering from atrial fibrillation can receive the most suitable treatment much sooner than is now often the case.
A number of studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the underlying principle. Before the device can be marketed, however, it must go through a number of developmental stages. For example, various clinical trials involving patients are required, in cooperation with cardiologists. The device must further be readied for production to ensure optimal effectiveness, and it also requires CE mark certification. CTMM and VPZL (the South Limburg Valorization Program) are funding the device’s development. It will likely be available in the clinical research market in 2018, after which the first hospitals will be able to work with it.
YourRhythmics is a spin-off company of Maastricht UMC+ and located at Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. It is the first company in which Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus is itself investing and participating.