A screening tool measuring pulse wave velocity for early detection of preeclampsia.
The final DuoDigit prototype, with an enclosed housing and two PPG sensors for detecting pulse waves at the finger and toe.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication defined by systemic hypertension. It is a significant public health threat that impacts about 12.7 million expecting mothers worldwide, yet it affects those in developing countries at a higher rate. According to the world health organization, the incidence of preeclampsia is 7x higher in developing countries, causing higher levels of maternal mortality in these areas. Particularly in Ethiopia, lower resource communities are disproportionately affected by this disparity. Women in these areas have minimal access to the Obstetric and Gynecological resources that are more commonly available to women in urban and developed regions. Currently, there are no devices that are widely-available, affordable, and dedicated to the early detection of preeclampsia. Team EPICS has created a solution to combat these issues. Research predicts that the use of pulse wave velocity (PVW) to characterize the stiffness of the uterine artery and overall cardiovascular health may be sufficient in screening for preeclampsia as early as the first trimester. The Duo Digit system utilizes PPG sensors and algorithms to determine the PVW. With a device cost of $100, we can widely deploy this device throughout the Ethiopian healthcare system 150x more with the cost of the predicate device. Our testing has determined a precision of +/- 0.86 m/s PVW and an operational time <4 minutes. Under advice of Dr. Rudolph Gleason, EPICS is successful in creating a device that is easy to economically sustainable, intuitive, and informative screening tool to be further validated in an upcoming clinical study.