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Wanfang Hospital develops stenosis detection device

Source: Taipei Times by Lee I-chia

Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital has developed a device that can help patients on dialysis detect stenosis at home in 20 seconds, Taipei Medical University (TMU) said on Saturday.

Wanfang is one of the six affiliated hospitals of the TMU Healthcare System.

TMU displayed the non-invasive arteriovenous fistula stenosis detection device, developed by Wanfang Hospital cardiologist Chen Wei-ta (陳威達) and a team at Above Care Inc, at this year’s Taiwan Healthcare Expo, which was held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from Thursday to Sunday.

Taiwan has a kidney disease prevalence rate of about 12 percent, with nearly 100,000 people on dialysis, Chen said.

As many patients receive hemodialysis three times a week, stenosis — or abnormal narrowing of a blood vessel — or blockage can occur easily, but it is often checked only once in three months due to insufficient examination equipment, he said.

Chen and the Above Care team developed the artificial-intelligence (AI)-based non-invasive system to help patients detect stenosis and seek treatment earlier.

It works by placing the small device on a patient’s skin to record the sound of blood flow and upload it to a cloud platform, which is automatically examined by AI.

The process takes only about 20 seconds, and the diagnosis accuracy rate is about 90 percent, Chen said.

The device is easy to operate and causes no pain — much like using a home blood pressure monitor, he said.

It is also capable of predicting changes to the arteriovenous fistula, such as when stenosis occurs, from the sound of the blood flow, he added.

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