1. Stem Cell Therapy
BioCardia is a clinical-stage biotechnology regenerative medicine company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of heart failure. Among its treatment modalities, personalized screening helps determine which patients are most likely to benefit from intramyocardial injection of therapeutic agents.
BioCardia's current efforts in cardiac regenerative medicine include CardiAMP™ therapy and CardiALLO™ therapy, which focus on heart failure resulting from heart attack. The company was co-founded by Dr. Simon Stetzer, who performed the first coronary balloon angioplasty in the United States in 1978.
2. Implantable defibrillator
The implantable subcutaneous defibrillator (ISSD), designed by Newpace with the help of researchers at Na Homolce Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic, is a less invasive device that can prevent sudden cardiac death.
Unlike current subcutaneous defibrillators, the ISSD does not require a metal pulse generator pocket. Instead, it uses a single flexible wire-shaped device with no leads inside the heart. The average implantation time is just 20 minutes, and the device can be connected to a smartphone.
3. Robot sleeves
Researchers at Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital have come up with a soft robot that can fit around the heart and help it beat. The device holds great promise for people whose hearts have been weakened by a heart attack and are at risk of heart failure. The robot synchronizes with the heart through a thin silicone sheath with soft pneumatic actuators that simulate the heart's outer muscle layer. Like most devices currently available, it does this without requiring direct contact with blood. This eliminates the need for potentially dangerous blood thinner medications.
4. 3D bioprinting heart tissue
Chicago-based biotech startup Biolife4D recently announced that it can bioprint human heart muscle patches that can be stitched into areas of dead heart muscle to speed recovery from acute heart failure. The whole process is very complex. It involves reprogramming a patient's blood cells into stem cells, which are then mutated to produce specific types of cells suitable for 3D bioengineering of the human heart. Watch this video to see how scientific milestones are achieved.
Designed by researchers at Google and its health technology subsidiary, Verily is an artificial intelligence algorithm that promises to predict heart disease just by looking at a patient's eyes. To build the technology, scientists looked at a database of nearly 300,000 patients and scanned it for patterns. Because the back inner wall of the eye hides a network of blood vessels, eye scans can show signs of heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Although still in testing, it can predict with 70% accuracy whether a patient will develop heart problems within the next five years.