RCE awarded NSF grant to advance development of heart attack diagnostics


Carlsbad, California (January 16, 2023) – RCE Technologies, Inc. a medical technology company harnessing the power of sensors, machine learning and proprietary algorithms towards heart attack diagnostics, announced today it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for $255,892.

“It’s an absolute honor to receive this grant from the National Science Foundation,” said RCE’s founder and CEO Atandra Burman. “This is an exciting opportunity for RCE, and it brings credibility to the work we do in the space of heart attack diagnostics.” RCE’s heart attack diagnostics platform is the first technology of its kind, providing real-time diagnostics and predictive intelligence in acute phases of heart muscle injury.

In the US,  10 million patients visit one of 7,000 emergency departments (ED) with chest pain every year.  In 83% of cases it turns out that the patient’s chest pain is due to non-cardiac causes.

Ascertaining whether the chest pain is due to cardiac or other causes requires a series of cumbersome blood draws that take hours. For patients who are experiencing myocardial ischemia (ischemia), or a reduction of blood flow to the heart, delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to myocardial infarctions (MI), or heart attacks and potentially tragic outcomes.

Thus, in the majority of cases, a prompt point of care diagnostic test could rule these patients out of MI early on, and allow them to be discharged instead of spending hours under ED observation and consuming scarce facility resources. The remaining 17% of individuals in the US who test positive for MI could be more quickly triaged and admitted for potentially lifesaving care.

Dr. Jitto Titus, RCE’s optical scientist and head of engineering adds, “The optical sensor based technology, coupled with artificial intelligence, has the potential to significantly reduce the time to a diagnosis, which is a critical factor in saving lives while bringing about efficiencies in healthcare settings.”

With nearly 800,000 heart attacks reported in the US each year, there is a need for a rapid, non-invasive means for EDs to test patients for ischemia and MI in order to understand a patient’s status in minutes, enabling them to be admitted for prompt treatment or discharged efficiently. “This will not only alleviate the burden on the health system resources, but also ease the the patients who are anxious to know if they are having a heart attack, or not.”, said Atandra.

Currently RCE is actively recruiting in 2 studies:

(1) Registry for Algorithmic Development of Acute Coronary Syndrome (RAD-ACS) – this is a prospective 300 patient multi-site study collecting data from RCE wearables in patients with suspicion of MI. The data from this study will allow us to develop classification models for MI.

(2) Ischemia registry – this is a prospective 100 patient study at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center collecting data from RCE wearables in cohort of patients undergoing coronary angiogram and stress testing. The data from this study will allow us to develop ischemia detection models.

RCE envisions the above 2 studies coupled with the NSF phase 1 grant will support algorithmic development towards early detection for myocardial injury. The success of this exploration will demonstrate a proof of concept that will garner interest towards follow-on phase 2 grants in extending the clinical validation in the home setting

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

About RCE:

RCE, an AI based med tech works towards the early detection of heart attacks. We have re-imagined the way cardiac proteins are monitored in the blood using a non-invasive transdermal technique. The instant reporting of one such protein, cardiac Troponin empowers emergency medicine physicians and cardiologists in the early assessment and appropriate risk stratification of patients presenting with chest pain. We currently are conducting clinical studies and undertaking  premarket efforts.