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EU Project Secures €9.5 Million to Create Portable Device for Early Diagnosis of DVT


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) presents a significant health risk, with approximately half of the patients experiencing blood clots that break away from the vein wall and travel to the lungs, potentially causing pulmonary embolism. This condition, which results in a 25% mortality rate among sufferers, is the third leading cause of cardiovascular death worldwide, following stroke and heart attack. Early detection of DVT is particularly challenging as up to two-thirds of cases exhibit no symptoms.

To address this, the EU-funded “ThrombUS+” project, a collaboration of 18 European partners, aims to develop a portable diagnostic device for early DVT detection. Supported by a €9.5 million grant under the Horizon Europe Innovation Action, the project seeks to create a portable cuff with an integrated ultrasound transducer for continuous vascular imaging of the lower limbs.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) and VERMON are pivotal in developing the ultrasound transducer arrays for this portable device. Fraunhofer IPMS is leveraging MEMS-based ultrasound transducers, known as CMUTs (Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers), which represent the next generation of medical ultrasound sensors. CMUTs offer advantages such as miniaturization, high channel count, and superior bandwidth and sensitivity, making them suitable for low-cost mass production and opening possibilities for innovative diagnostic systems.

Professor Kaldoudi said, “project coordinator and scientist at the Athena Research Center in Greece, highlighted the multifaceted challenges in developing a portable diagnostic solution for DVT. The consortium’s strength lies in its compliance-by-design approach, integrating legal, regulatory, and safety requirements early in the development process to expedite the innovation’s path to patients.”

The clinical, technical, and regulatory insights gained from the ThrombUS+ project are expected to facilitate market access for future AI-based medical devices. The project aims to pioneer an era where wearable devices and Artificial Intelligence transform diagnostics into continuous and autonomous point-of-care services, thereby alleviating the burden on healthcare providers.

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