Imageens is thrilled to announce that we had the honor of participating in the prestigious TEDx event, where an enlightening presentation on the topic of “How Cardiovascular Age Measured from Arterial Stiffness Biomarkers is Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases.”
The event provided a remarkable platform for sharing our innovative insights and solutions. discourse shed light on the vital role of arterial stiffness biomarkers in predicting and preventing cardiovascular ailments. Imageens is committed to pushing the boundaries of medical knowledge and contributing to a healthier future for all.
Presented below is the insightful discourse delivered :
“Do you know the age of your arteries??
For a long time, doctors and scientists have understood the importance of preserving the health of our vessels. Indeed, already in the 17th century Thomas Sydenham said, “a man is as old as his arteries”!
The main reason for this saying is that our arteries not only carry blood around our body, but play a vital role in absorbing heart shock waves.
Concretely, every minute, the beats of our heart propel a powerful jet in our arteries, and if these arteries were rigid, this shock wave would propagate in the whole body and degrade the tissues of all the other organs. But, fortunately, nature is well made, and it has given us an aorta.
The aorta is the largest of the arteries that comes directly from the heart and with each beat, it expands to absorb this shock wave.
So, it is not surprising to know that when arterial stiffness is altered, a large number of pathologies can develop, whether they are brain diseases, metabolic diseases, heart diseases…
Almost all of our health system is impacted by the rigidity of the great vessels. This has led the medical scientific community to think a little differently about aging, since we are dealing with a mechanism that impacts almost all of our health system, this could be a determining factor for aging.
A new theory has emerged, which is called “early vascular aging”, it states that we do not age in a linear method, as one might think, but we age in spurts, and especially in spurts of phenomena that will alter this arterial stiffness over time; it could be ten years of very intense stress, five years of obesity, fifteen years of smoking, all events that will gradually lead to a divergence between vascular age and tchronological age, and explain why some people age well and others not.
To measure this rigidity and confirm this theory, modern science has endowed us with fantastic technologies. The best technology to measure this stiffness is MRI.
It is a non-ionizing examination based on magnetic resonance which makes it possible to obtain videos of what is happening in our body.
Here is an MRI of an ascending aorta during the cardiac cycle and using advanced artificial intelligence to process these images. We manage to track the deformation of this aorta to quantify the rigidity. Once this rigidity is measured, we will then look at how it relates to population databases.
If we take an example, a man is 60 years old, we will measure his rigidity and we will use the general population database to define what type of age this rigidity looks like. It turns out that there, for example, he looks like an 84-year-old man.
So we can say that his cardiovascular age is 84 years old.
To know if it is interesting to measure this rigidity and this cardiovascular age, it is necessary to know if it predicts cardiovascular events.
There are three outstanding results that have come out in large clinical studies over the last ten years, where we have shown the value of our cardiovascular age measurement.
The first result is that this measurement of cardiovascular age, and of rigidity in particular, is the earliest marker of aging in humans. Very concretely, we see from the age of 30, a variability in the population of this cardiovascular age. The period between 30 and 60 is decisive in determining whether a person will age well or badly. When looking at all the markers available, this is the one that stands out and begins to deteriorate earliest in life.
The second result, quite extraordinary, is that this rigidity is predictive of long-term mortality.
We did a clinical study in the USA, which was called the Mesa study, where we followed 4,000 patients over eight and a half years, and we measured this rigidity. It has been identified that this measure of cardiovascular stiffness is able to predict whether you will die within 8 and a half years or not, or if you will have serious cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or a stroke within 8 years and half.
What is quite remarkable is that this was independent of the person’s age and other cardiovascular events.
Very concretely, this means that if your distensibility is altered at the age of 40 or 60, you are at very high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The third result, which is particularly interesting, was that this marker was also studied in young patients who were already at high risk. These were young people who had already had a heart attack, and we wanted to know if it could predict the recurrence of heart attacks in these young people, and the answer is yes!
We can predict the recurrence of infarction in people under 45 at three years.
In summary, we have a marker that is extremely interesting for aging and cardiovascular health since it is the earliest marker of aging. It is able to predict long-term mortality and short-term cardiovascular events.
I may have scared you all, but I also have good news, because there would be no point in measuring this marker if we could just predict whether you were going to die or not.
So the good news is that there is a reversibility of this distensibility, of this rigidity.
Concretely, there are therapeutic and non-therapeutic means where we can improve the rigidity of our arteries, improve our cardiovascular age and therefore rejuvenate.
In particular, I would like to draw attention to a means of rejuvenation, which is available to everyone, which is sport.
Indeed, there is a very interesting study that was conducted by our English partners in London, which measured this rigidity before a marathon and after six months of training for a marathon.
It was observed, in such a short period of six months, that there was an average rejuvenation of four years of cardiovascular age.
And it was particularly marked for people who did moderate sports.
So, from this technology, we can better understand the cardiovascular health of patients, we know that we can do something to improve it.
We also decided to bring this technology to the hospitals. One of the first clinics to adopt this technology is Pitié-Salpêtrière.
I am going to present to you three clinical cases which have passed through the Pitié-Salpêtrière, where we were able to improve the care of these patients. They are obviously anonymized, so these are not their real names.
But I’m going to show you how it can improve their lives.
The first patient, we will call him Michel, he was 53 years old. He was a senior executive in a renowned Parisian company. He was asymptomatic. This means that there was no proven cardiovascular disease. No reason to think he was in poor health. Michel had chest pains in the last few weeks, so he decided to go to his doctor who prescribed him a fairly complete check-up at the Pitié-Salpêtrière in imaging to know if his heart was okay. We did the battery of normal exams, an ultrasound, an ECG, a stress MRI, and all were negative.
Doctor Alban Redheuil at Pitié-Salpêtrière decided to do this additional examination with this technology in order to measure his cardiovascular age.
And there, something quite remarkable, Michel had a cardiovascular age of 84 years. This means that there is a difference of 31 years between his chronological age and his cardiovascular age, because the stiffness of his aorta was greatly altered for his age. And so for the first time, Michel learns that in fact, he still has to change his lifestyle a bit and that he has to take better care of himself.
What we recommended to Michel was to play sports twice a week – he hardly did any sports. He has to do moderate sports to improve this distensibility a little. he needs to change his diet. He must eat less salt, less fat, as we all know.
And probably, it’s worth it for Michel to come back to the doctor every year to check whether his cardiovascular health is good or not, since we still know that, as things stand, he is quite at risk of developing serious cardiovascular disease within eight and a half years.
The second patient is Thomas. Thomas, he is 35 years old, he is type 1 diabetic.
That means it’s innate diabetes. Thomas, we give him a cardiovascular health check because among diabetics, the first source of mortality is cardiovascular disease. People usually do not die of diabetes directly, but of cardiovascular disease due to diabetes.
Thomas, again, they give him the most advanced battery there is at La Pitié – echo, ECG, stress MRI: nothing, no reason to think that he had macro-angiopathy, a disease of the great vessels. When we did the distensibility, we saw something quite different.
Again, distensibility totally altered in relation to his age. There, Thomas had 85 years of cardiovascular age, whereas he is 35. That was 50 years of difference, which totally changed, of course, how the diabetologist, the cardiologist were going to think in relation to this patient.
There, what we are going to do to him, in a similar way to Michel – we have to change our lifestyle, we have to stop smoking – but we are also going to start changing the way we manage his diabetes
So we’re going to have to be a lot stricter with our blood sugar levels, maybe increase the dosages. We will follow this patient much more closely because we have identified something personal in him where he is at risk.
The last patient, Jeanne, 60, type 2 diabetic, somewhat similar to the other two. She also has impaired distensibility and will have to change her lifestyle. I wanted to add this slide because we often think that cardiovascular disease is a disease of men. But this is not the case.
Cardiovascular diseases are the 1st source of mortality in women and therefore it is vital that we make solutions that are appropriate for men and women.
I would like to end this presentation by telling you that stiffness, the measurement of vascular age, is fantastic, that it will totally change the way we think about the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and the personalization of decisions for these diseases.
But you should know that in the next ten years, we will have a myriad of other technologies that will be able to assist in the decision of doctors.
We will see an explosion of this type of technology that will allow personalization and improvement of therapeutic decisions, surgery and follow-up frequency.
And I must congratulate all of us that France is fertile ground for this type of innovation.
This is the project that we carry.
About Imageens :
Imageens is a Paris-based Healthtech company founded in 2017, focusing on the prevention and early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Since its inception, Imageens has been immersed in international DeepTech and established with the goal of developing market-ready medical image processing software based on over 10 years of technical and clinical research conducted by world-class research institutions such as Sorbonne Université, the AP-HP, and Johns Hopkins.
From the outset, Imageens has demonstrated its capability to harness advanced AI in creating cutting-edge medical software. This innovation has earned recognition through several prestigious French innovation competitions and multiple innovation labels.
Today, Imageens leads the charge in the rapidly growing field of AI in cardiovascular health and medical imaging. The company possesses the world’s most clinically validated technology for analyzing arterial function through MRI, deploying this technology alongside other AI components to revolutionize treatment decisions in cardiovascular health and beyond. Learn more at www.Imageens.com.
The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences are a series of conferences organized internationally by the American non-profit foundation The Sapling foundation. Its goal is, according to its slogan, “ideas worth spreading”.
The first conferences were held in California in 1984, first in Monterey, then in Long Beach and, more recently, twice a year in other cities around the world, under the name “TED Global”. Since 2014, the main TED conference has taken place in Vancouver.