Sensi @ SUNHeart

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Less than 50% of the people that suffered from rheumatic fever are aware of it. This could have  devastating effects  later on in life.

Diacoustic Medical Devices is proud to be part of the SUNHeart Project at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital’s Cardiology Department where about 2 000 learners from Khayelitsha and Ravensmead are currently being screened for possible heart defects.

Africa has one of the highest prevalences of heart disease in children and young adults, including congenital and rheumatic heart disease, and there is an urgent need to improve access to early diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Children in the age group 6 to 21 have the highest risk of throat infection, a cause of rheumatic fever. According to Prof Anton Doubell, Head of Cardiology at Stellenbosch University, many sufferers of the disease are only diagnosed with heart defects later in life, especially during pregnancy.  

During the eight-week SUNHeart Project each child will undergo a physical examination, heart sound will be recorded and analysed with SensiCardiac to detect abnormal cardiac sound, and each child’s heart will be screened with a hand-held echo, as well as a traditional sonar.

This project will run for the next five years, thanks to the collaboration of the British Society of Echocardiography. 

Children diagnosed with a heart defect will undergo treatment. An important aspect of the project, however, is that methods to detect these defects earlier are improved at the same time.

Sensi is currently the world leader in computer-assisted cardiac diagnosis and aims to improve the accuracy of screening for abnormal sounds.  

Diacoustic’s long-term aim is to implement this technology at rural clinics.

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