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News 03 December 2020

An RVC Biofund Portfolio Company's Development to Detect Lung Damage in COVID-19 Patients Was Successfully Tested

The first stage of testing the microwave radiothermometry (RTM) technology for diagnosing pulmonary complications in COVID-19 patients has been summed up. Their results showed that using this technology is a convenient and safe method of screening diagnostics in patients with COVID-19 with suspected pneumonia. The research, organized by the University of Edinburgh, was carried out using a diagnostic microwave radiothermograph fr om RTM Diagnostics.

Microwave radiothermograph is designed for non-invasive detection of temperature anomalies of internal tissues and visualization of measurement results in temperature fields and thermograms. The device allows detecting thermal anomalies at a depth of several centimeters. It is safe and harmless for the patient and the doctor since it is not a source of ionizing radiation but only receives its radiation from the patient's internal tissues.

The experiments, prepared and implemented by Russian specialists, were carried out at the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy's Medical Center in Bishkek. The practical part of the study was participated by 195 people. As many as 149 of them were hospitalized with pneumonia symptoms; 46 were selected out of healthy volunteers without symptoms of COVID-19 and pneumonia. The tests revealed significant differences in thermal changes in bacterial forms of pneumonia and lung lesions in coronavirus infection.

Mikhail Fedotov, the Director of RVC subsidiary funds: "Passive microwave radiometry is already being used to diagnose cancer and other diseases. It is a non-radioactive, non-invasive, and inexpensive technology. It may be especially in demand in regions with limited access to diagnostic tests and expensive equipment".

The results of the RTM examination of patients were compared with radiographs and computed tomography (CT) of the chest organs. The sensitivity of the tests (the ratio of patients with COVID-19 identified by testing and the presence of pulmonary pneumonia with the actual number of cases) was about 80%. Research has shown that RTM technology can be successfully used as an alternative triage tool for patients with symptoms of COVID-19, reducing the risk of infection and spread of the virus and screening asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Sergey Vesnin, chief designer and co-founder of RTM Diagnostics: "The results of the studies conducted open up new promising areas of application of microwave radiothermometry technology, including the timely detection of latent inflammatory processes in the lungs and monitoring of the lung condition during comprehensive rehabilitation after a coronavirus infection. I believe that radiothermographs are needed in hospices and nursing homes, on warships and civilian ships, in military units, and other places wh ere there are not enough CT rooms or are significantly removed from potential patients' locations".

The RTM-D2M new generation radiothermograph was registered in Russia by a subsidiary of the RVK Biofund RTM Diagnostics in 2019 and passed technical tests for compliance with the European Union requirements for medical equipment. Research using it to develop a COVID-19 differential diagnosis method is planned to continue in other countries, including Russia.