We know that the current system of “ruling out MI” — making sure a patient with chest pain isn’t having a heart attack — is expensive, cumbersome, and hospitalizes too many patients with healthy hearts. But the alternative — missing a real heart attack — is worse.
So there’s pressure to diagnose heart damage quicker. We’ve blogged about this need before, but today someone is claiming they can deliver: ruling out myocardial infarction in 20 seconds. The inventor is also touting his technology as worthy of a Nobel. Who would say such a thing? Why, Chris Geddes!
Dr. Chris Geddes first graced our pages for his contact lenses that change color with blood sugar, an innovative way for diabetics to avoid needle sticks.
Now, according to this article, he’s taken his fluorescent-tagged sensing technology to new places:
Geddes is working with UMBI to find a corporate partner to underwrite the cost of bringing his heart attack test kit to market for use in hospitals and ambulances. But the design and federal approval process could cost millions of dollars and take years.
Meanwhile, he’s spreading the word about the device and the method he used to develop it — heating metals to make a spectroscope more sensitive to troponin and other chemicals.
Geddes has published his findings and applied for a patent. He also approved a news release calling his technique one of the greatest discoveries since a series of breakthroughs 30 years ago led to a Nobel Prize for immunoassay diagnostics — which use telltale substances in the blood to diagnose a variety of diseases.
Scientists rarely compare their work with that of Nobel Prize winners, so Geddes’ claims raise some eyebrows.
“Maybe that’s a little broad,” Charles Edmonds, program administrator for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, said of Geddes’ boast. “But his work is pretty good stuff.”
Geddes, who heads a panel that advises Edmonds on research grant applications, does not apologize for bragging. He says his system — known as Microwave Accelerated Metal Enhanced Fluorescence — could generate a wide range of medical detectors, such as test kits to check for avian bird flu, anthrax or toxic shock.
Only 35 years old, Geddes is a full professor, head of the Institute of Fluorescence, and edits more journals than we do (not only that, but his journals are like, on paper and stuff). But if he can improve the lives of interns in ERs across the land (not to the lives of patients) he’ll deserve all the praise he’s already bestowed on himself.
More from Geddes’ site…