22-year-old 3D scanner can diagnose heart disease in 90 seconds

He’s started a biotech company and raised millions of dollars in capital, including from famous businessman Mark Cuban, and he hopes to start bringing 3D cardiac scanning technology to hospitals and emergency rooms across the country. country as of this year.

“Five years from now, we want to be known as the emergency standard for eliminating or excluding heart chest pain versus non-heart chest pain,” said Shrivastava, originally from outside of Cincinnati.

While in high school in 2011, he began an internship as a researcher in an Ohio State University lab, examining the molecular foundations of heart problems.

After graduating from high school in 2013, he enrolled in Ohio State. But before starting classes, he co-founded Genetesis with two high school buddies, Vineet Erasala and Manny Setegn.

During the first year, these friends also ran their business. And in his sophomore year, Shrivastava left college to pursue the business full time.

The friends set out to rethink the way doctors diagnose chest pain in the emergency room.

For adults 45 and older, nonspecific chest pain is the number one reason for an emergency room visit that results in discharge, according to the Healthcare Quality and Research Agency.

Patients usually fear the worst: a life-threatening heart problem. They get blood tests, ECGs, x-rays, maybe a treadmill stress test.

A recent study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine showed that extensive testing combined with an overnight stay can take up to 28 hours. And the average cost of chest pain visits is estimated at $ 1,527 per patient, with a total of nearly $ 7 billion in direct costs for the treatment of chest pain at all US hospitals, according to a 2015 study.

The problem doesn’t have to be that expensive, and patients don’t have to spend that long to be diagnosed if their problem isn’t heart-related, Shrivastava says.

Of the 8 million Americans who enter emergency rooms each year to complain of chest pain, only 6% suffer from a life-threatening illness like a heart attack, according to a study by JAMA Internal Medicine. He also found that more than half of people who go to the emergency room for chest pain are actually feeling something else: anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, muscle tension.

Yet emergency room physicians often need to perform extensive testing on patients to rule out serious conditions, especially in patients at risk for heart problems.

Shrivastava says his company’s scanner, called Faraday, can dramatically speed up this process, do it more accurately, and make it more comfortable for the patient. It uses artificial intelligence to create thousands of 3D maps of a patient’s heart to tell doctors what is and is not causing chest pain.

If doctors are able to diagnose and discharge non-cardiac patients after four hours, rather than 20 or more, the costs of care could drop dramatically. For example, a hospital would not need to perform an ECG treadmill test which can cost $ 200 to $ 300, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, or an imaging stress test, which can cost $ 500 to $ 2,000. In addition, the cost of admission to the hospital overnight can run up to around $ 2,000.

The method of the Shrivastava team is non-invasive. There are no needles and blood tests. “The beauty of magnetic fields is that they’re not distorted by the lungs, by the skin, so the signal you get is very high fidelity. It’s very pure,” he said. “So you can hold the sensors just above your chest and still get that high quality signal. No radiation. No contact. Nothing at all.”

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Usually, a patient with chest pain has to take their shirt off so that a nurse can apply cold gel to their chest or place sticky adhesives with electrodes on their skin. But the Genetesis device would make these processes unnecessary. And a nurse or technician can complete the entire test in about 90 seconds.

A system of algorithms in the company’s CardioFlux software analyzes magnetic data in maps that indicate problems such as coronary heart disease or ischemia, a lack of blood flow often caused by a buildup or blockage in an artery .

As standard care, patients should follow up with a cardiac stress test, either by running on a treadmill or by injecting a radioactive isotope into the bloodstream.

And that’s another benefit of Shrivastava’s technology: it says it can emulate stress without isotopes.

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In 2016, Shrivastava and his team completed a preliminary study involving 28 patients at the Mayo Clinic. They presented the results at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in November 2016.

In May, they began a larger study at St. John’s Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Dr. Margarita Pena, a researcher and emergency physician in St. John’s and principal investigator of the study, plans to have the device tested on 100 patients by the end of February, hoping to report the results soon to the American College of Cardiology. annual meeting. She said the results looked promising.

“If the precision is there, it will be a game changer,” she said. “If it’s as accurate as a stress test, it will reduce patient length of stay, costs for hospitals, and it will be safer because it could reduce risks such as nosocomial infections, radioactive dyes and possible injuries on the treadmill.

“It’s like a great ECG,” she said.

Pena said that, assuming the pilot study is successful, the next step is likely to be a multi-center study in various hospitals. After that, the device would need FDA approval before it could be used in clinical practice.

While the device holds great promise, Dr. Elliott Antman, associate dean at Harvard Medical School and former president of the American Heart Association, cautioned against the belief that any technology can revolutionize the way chest pain and cardiac events are assessed, noting the importance of talking to patients in addition to performing tests.

“The refinements of blood tests, in specific biomarkers, are very useful,” he said.

One of the main blood tests doctors use in the emergency room is for a protein called troponin. “Troponin assays are becoming more and more sensitive. They are becoming able to detect very small amounts of damage to the heart and do so quickly,” Antman said.

Changing the status quo in any major area is difficult, but Shrivastava and his team believe they’re going to do just that. And if recognition and accolades are any indication, they are on their way.

In 2017, the Kairos Society, a group that connects young entrepreneurs from around the world, honored Genetesis on its K50 list, naming it among the top 50 companies in the world founded by someone under the age of 26. And manufacturer of computer chips. Nvidia screened over 600 participants to recognize Genetesis as the best startup using artificial intelligence for “social impact.”

Shrivastava is also a recipient of the Thiel Fellowship, a program created by PayPal founder Peter Thiel, which annually awards 10 scholarships of $ 100,000 to promising entrepreneurs who choose to start businesses instead of going to college. His bet pays off. Shrivastava said her company would raise $ 10 million to $ 12 million in investment by the time it was ready to bring the product to more hospitals in a multi-center study this year.

Shrivastava says Genetesis is completing its application for FDA approval.

Over the next 10 years, he believes his team will be able to expand their imaging platform to other areas of the body.

“We want this to be treated as the emergency norm, not just for chest pain or heart abnormalities,” Shrivastava said. “It is a technology that is not specific to any organ. Any organ that emits a magnetic field should be able to be mapped by our device.”