NASA Spinoff Database: A Head Start to a Healthy Heart

NASA Center: Johnson Space Center
Public Release Year: 2002
Reference Number: JSC-SO-172
Category: Health And Medicine

Cambridge Heart, Inc., has licensed the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared tool to identify those at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD). The Microvolt T-Wave Alternans TestT was invented by Dr. Richard J. Cohen, a professor at the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, with developmental support and funding from NASA's Johnson Space Center and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) in Houston, Texas. In 1993, MIT licensed the technology to Cambridge Heart, Inc., a start-up company that Dr. Cohen helped to establish. Cambridge Heart's non-invasive technology measures T-wave alternans, a change from one heartbeat to the next that is too minute to be detected by a standard electrocardiogram. Cardiac patients with such a change in heartbeat regulation are faced with a much greater risk of ventricular arrhythmia and SCD than those without it. The company's ability to measure electrical alternans on a microvolt level has been clinically proven to be just as accurate as-and in some studies, more accurate than-more costly and somewhat risky, invasive procedures, such as electrophysiological testing.

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Page Number in Published book: 64-65
Manufacturer: Cambridge Heart, Inc.

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