It’s February 7thand the medical community is observing Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week sponsored by the American Heart Association to encourage awareness and education about congenital heart defects (CHDs). This week has been set aside to honor those born with a heart defect and all of the families and friends touched by children with heart defects. As participants of multiple CHD trials and validation studies lets discuss CHD challenges and solutions for rapid CHD detection.

According to the American Heart Association, about one child out of 100 births every year in the US is born with a CHD condition. This is due to a problem that happens as the child’s heart is developing during pregnancy, before the child is born. CHDs are the most common type of birth defects and people live with heart defects throughout their lives. As we all know, there are many types of congenital heart defects and the most common involve the inside walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, or the large blood arteries and veins carrying blood to and from the heart. Some of these heart defects require no treatment; however others require treatment soon after birth. Treatments which have many dependencies can include medications, catheter procedures, surgery, and sometimes heart transplants. Because cardiac diagnosis and treatment has greatly improved, more children are surviving and many CHD adults are living full complete lives. 

Regardless of treatment, detection and monitoring are key for managing CHD; the gold standard has been ultrasound echocardiogram, however recent clinical studies in India have validated that new EKG-enabled intelligent stethoscope technology can serve as a precursor to ultrasound echocardiogram for CHD detection and monitoring.

This new technology solution which integrates digital auscultation with EKG functionality and diagnostic imaging in the familiar shape and size of a stethoscope is called HD Steth.  HD Steth leverages digital health technologies to instantly detect and diagnose CHD. This represents a paradigm shift at the point-of-care setting.  Now medical professionals can instantly identify a patient’s cardiac condition, capture and share patient data, and identify cardiac defects in real-time improving patient quality-of-life.

Care for and monitoring of cardiac diseases is a major challenge for the health community.  Currently thirty eight percent (38%) of deaths worldwide are attributable to cardiac disease and the associated cost of cardiac disease management is exceeding $1T per year.  Exasperating the situation, the ratio of population to specialists is in the range of 10,000 to 1 in the USA (higher elsewhere) creating challenges in making critical clinical decisions during the “golden hour” of a cardiac event.

Additionally, according to Dr. Nelson B. Schiller, MD, FACC, FRCP “Standardized auscultation tests given to medical students and fellows have found auscultation is either not taught well enough or students have difficulty learning it.  Results show that only 30% of medical students tested are able to detect typical heart sounds and murmurs versus the internal medicine residents getting up to 40% while Fellows reach into the 50 -60% range.”  In addition, according to Dr. Paul Rosen in his recent HealthcareSuccess.com blog “At the medical school at Stanford University, 35 percent of graduating students are forgoing residency training and taking jobs in start-ups instead. The cultures they see outside of health systems resonate more with their values.” Also, according to Rosen “in the area of patient safety, over 400,000 deaths in hospitals are due to medical errors each year, making medical errors the 3rd leading cause of death in the Unites States.”

These challenges are being overcome with recent advances in medical imaging along with increased computational power and the advent of mobility, wireless and other technologies.  This now allows patients to be treated and monitored more precisely and effectively and in ways that better meet their individual needs.

HD Medical’s HD Steth comes at a perfect inflection point as healthcare is shifting and focusing on wellness and prevention rather than treating patients after an incident.

Sunnyvale-based HD Medical Inc. and Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. of San Jose today announced that Maxim has made an $800,000 strategic investment in HD Medical, in the form of a convertible promissory note intended to convert into HD Medical’s next preferred equity round of financing. The majority of Maxim’s investment will be dedicated to HD Medical’s new product development of its visual stethoscope technology utilizing a low power Maxim chipset for the advancement of digital health.

HD Medical develops the ViScope® visual stethoscope product family. These unique visual stethoscopes provide “dynamic auscultation™”, the ability to see what one hears for a more accurate diagnosis. ViScope’s integrated visual display shows heart waveforms in real-time, making it a perfect device for patient screening, teaching, home health, telemedicine and other digital health applications. In this medical application, Maxim is leveraging its sensor and ultra-low-power integrated circuit technologies. Through Maxim Ventures, the company applies its product portfolio and system knowledge to build companies that extend up the data-flow value chain into equipment, systems, software, and services.

“We are excited by the growth and vision we’ve seen from HD Medical’s team,” said Mr. Shailendra Mahajan, Managing Director of Maxim Ventures. “We believe that the product roadmap directly corresponds with the healthcare professional’s needs and also opens up opportunities in tele-medicine and home healthcare markets. Our goal is to ensure both our companies significantly contribute to the advancement of digital health,” said Mr. Chris Neil, SVP of Maxim and Head of Maxim Ventures.

“With Maxim’s impressive investor confidence, HD Medical is well poised for future growth and investment,” stated Mr. Arvind Thiagarajan, Founder & CEO of HD Medical, Inc. “This agreement will accelerate as well as enhance our new product development and position us to ramp our revenues.”

About Maxim Ventures Maxim Ventures, the venture arm of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (“Maxim”), invests in new businesses that are “beyond the chip.” We leverage Maxim’s enabling sensor and integrated circuit technologies and use that know-how as the basis to build companies that extend up the data-flow value chain into equipment, systems, software and services. Visit us at http://www.maximventures.com.

About HD Medical, Inc.

HD Medical, Inc. is a medical device innovator based in California, USA with Offices in Sydney, Australia and Research Labs in Chennai, India. Since 2005 the company has designed and developed medical products for use in screening and early detection of cardiac conditions. The company markets its innovations to medical professionals, large medical institutions and channel partners through operations in the USA and Asia Pacific. HD Medical’s patented technologies and products offer a paradigm shift in clinical diagnostics. Coming from a tradition of helping to promote personal and community health, through exceptional healthcare diagnostic products and solutions, HD Medical, Inc. is committed to delivering “Higher Dimensions in Digital Health”.

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Note to editors: ViScope is a registered trademark and Dynamic Auscultation is a trademark of HD Medical, Inc. All other