The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) has developed a handy device which allows for easier and cost-effective assessment of blood-clotting parameters for prescribing anti-coagulants to patients with cardiovascular problems.
The Chitra PT/INR Monitor was one of six technologies transferred to industry partners at the Industry-Innovator Meet and Technology Conclave 2019 on Sunday.
“Cardiac patients using implants or patients with deep vein thrombosis need to keep their blood thin. They are put on blood-thinning medicines such as Warfarin. However, for determining the dosage, you require frequent monitoring of the blood-clotting time,” said Anugya Bhatt, principal investigator in the 12-member team which developed the device over a two-year period. For determining the blood-clotting time, patients undergo the prothrombin time (PT) test. The result is then compared with the international average to obtain the international normalised ratio (INR) of the patient.
But here’s the flip side. At present these tests are confined to super-speciality hospitals which use expensive, imported equipment. This is where the SCTIMST device comes in. It is a disposable test strip and sensing device for regular PT testing and INR monitoring. “Just like your glucometer,” says Dr Bhatt.
The hand-held device is compact, battery-operated and requires just a small quantity of blood obtained by pricking your finger. The device can be used at home or in primary health centres.
The results can then be sent to the doctors. It is also cheaper. “The commercially available strips cost ₹200 or ₹300, but the new device should bring down the cost by one-third,” she said. The device was ideal for the Indian patient, she added.
SCTIMST has transferred the technology to Agappe Technologies, Kochi Ltd, for commercial production. If things go as planned, the device will hit the market in two to three months.
The SCTIMST team consisted of professor of cardiology S. Harikrishnan, engineer Sarath S. Nair, S. Sruthi, senior project engineer S. Lakshmi, S. Sumesh, Naveen, project scientist M.R. Rakhi, Jayasree, P.R. Anilkumar and engineers V. Vinod Kumar and Jithin Krishnan.