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UK researchers develop hand-held skin scanning tool for heart disease screening

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

A hand-held optical device that scans the skin for the early signs of heart disease and stroke could be available for sale within the next two years, according to the product's UK developers at Loughborough University (Leicestershire, UK). The noninvasive device, called PADD, uses an infrared light beam no more powerful than that used in a TV remote control to assess blood supply to the lower limb and foot and detect peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Poor blood supply to these extremities leads to tissue damage, ulceration, pain, loss of mobility, infection, gangrene and amputations. "If PVD is picked up early enough, many deaths could be prevented by better diet, exercise, drugs or surgery," explained Jody Brown, CEO of Dialog Devices, a Loughborough-based spin-out company set up to commercialise the device.

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