A new device smaller than an oral thermometer uses nano-sensors to measure biomarkers in saliva to accurately predict the risk of heart disease or a heart attack. It then conveys information to users via an app.
Developed in Australia by a Melbourne-based company, ESN Cleer, in collaboration with the city’s RMIT University and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, the device is expected to be available for sale by 2021.
The sensors, developed by RMIT’s MicroNano Research Facility, are said to be able to measure biomarkers — which include a protein called cardiac troponin, as well as several other compounds — are said to yield results that are a thousand times more precise than those from a blood test.
Unrelated research has indicated that biomarkers in your blood may impact how long you live.
The system connected to the saliva-testing device will encourage users who are shown to be at risk to take preventative actions, and algorithms assessing results will be used to further improve the device’s accuracy.
“Prevention is always better than cure,” said Professor Sharath Sriram, research co-director of RMIT’s Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group.
In addition to monitoring biomarkers, people should be aware of 28 dangerous things experts link to heart disease.
The new Australian technology seems particularly important, considering that a new study from Northwestern Medicine has revealed that total deaths worldwide from cardiometabolic disease have been increasing since 2011.
The developers of the saliva-testing device say that it might also be able to eventually predict the risk of developing cancer.