Preventing medical emergencies through vascular imaging

Over the ages improving human health has been one of our species' greatest achievements. It is also something which Robert Amelard aspires to during his PhD in systems design engineering.

Robert with imagine technology

Together with his team, Robert and his supervisors have created patent-pending Coded Hemodynamic Imaging (CHI) technology. The system is designed tomonitor blood flow throughout the body and has the potential to detect problems with heart function before a stroke or serious medical emergency occurs.

As Robert explains, this technology contributes to a larger movement towards preventative healthcare.

By developing a safe system capable of assessing blood flow, we hope to make monitoring of heart-related issues easier, ultimately preventing a precipitous event form happening. Our current healthcare system relies on developing a treatment plan after we have experienced symptoms. This is taxing on the healthcare system [and] affects our quality of life because we aren’t catching issues as early as we could. I imagine a world where we don’t have to rely on an event – like pain or a heart attack – to tell us something is wrong.

Amelard’s imaging device is unique as it functions without any contact with the human body. This not only enhances comfort for the person being monitored, but also provides an opportunity to access the most vulnerable patients where physical contact is an obstacle.

Consider infants in neonatal intensive care, patients with painful burns or those with a highly contagious illness. Anywhere contact is an issue or multiple persons require monitoring simultaneously, this device could be used to gain greater insights into health changes related to the vascular system.

Robert is grateful to UWaterloo for providing an ideal ecosystem for his ideas and ambitions to flourish.

Robert with tablet

My supervisors have been immensely supportive of my personal journey. They have played a huge role in shaping my research while allowing me to explore the applications I found most interesting, and have supported industry partnerships to help provide holistic scope to my work.

The other contribution has been through cross-disciplinary collaborations. I was able to take a graduate course with Dr. Richard Hughson, who studies vascular and brain health. Through his mentorship, I have been able to target my work in ways that I would not have otherwise.

If you’d like to discuss this project and help validate the system, contact Robert and his team. To see this technology in action, check out the CHI sample video slowed down to 1/6 normal speed

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