Carrie Fisher’s recent heart failure (in addition to the passing of her iconic mother Debbie Reynolds) reminds us all how much this country struggles with heart disease, where it's the leading cause of death.
In a fascinating attempt to curb this issue, one Massachusetts-based company is creating a way for individuals to find heart disease markers within their blood long before trouble arises.
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As many as 80% of patients who have had a heart attack will show an elevated level of cardiac troponin I proteins in their blood, which are the best biomarkers available for determining whether there’s been damage to the heart. Quanterix is a company that makes a highly-sensitive protein-detection machine called Simoa, which looks to detect the most incremental changes in troponin I proteins and warn of heart failure while there is still time to slow or reverse it.
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“Today, most of the technologies that can see proteins in blood can see disease, but they can’t see health,” says Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO and executive chairman of Quanterix in this Fortune piece. “And that continuum is very important because if we can see any migration from baseline, and be able to detect things very early, we can see any trend away from health.”
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Hrusovsky and Quanterix aim to give individuals previously unobtainable knowledge that could greatly expand their ability to prevent illness. In the burgeoning age of digital health and biotech innovation, prevention of fatal diseases is a newly gifted reality which could literally change the way you die.