Digital Medicine & Wearable Technology

Author: Hafsah Arain

Status: Project Concept

D-Dimer Monitor Will Help Detect DVT Early


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has been known to cause serious and sometimes even fatal complications, including pulmonary embolisms and post-thrombotic syndrome. Risk factors for DVT include hospitalization as well as conditions such as cancer, pregnancy, long periods of immobility, family history of venous thromboembolism, and major surgery [1]. D-dimer testing is a reliable method to confirm the presence of a blood clot within the body, but it requires blood samples and lab processing, which may be quite tedious and time-consuming. Current treatments for DVT include anticoagulants like warfarin or heparin administered either orally or through an injection. According to a study, hospitalized patients showed a general lack of awareness of DVT and its symptoms [2]. As a result, it is imperative that people have access to a portable monitor that would detect the presence of a blood clot within the body.
The goal of this project is to utilize ultrasound and electromagnetic technology to noninvasively monitor the amount of D-dimer in blood. People with a high risk of DVT will be able to regularly check their D-dimer levels and detect blood clots early, before potentially morbid complications can arise. Although this monitor is not meant to replace DVT diagnostic testing, it is meant to alert the user to the possibility that they may have a blood clot in their body and to direct them to the hospital, where further evaluation will take place. The DVT monitor will be a bracelet that is connected to an app and will incorporate current technology that is being utilized by noninvasive blood glucose monitors like GlucoTrack to detect the amount of D-dimer in the blood [3]. This information will then be sent to an app, where it is interpreted by artificial intelligence through the use of algorithms and displayed in a manner that can be easily understood. If D-dimer levels are high and indicate that there is a blood clot in the body, more information and possible courses of action will be displayed on the interface of the app.
Although this device has yet to be developed and tested, a monitor that could detect whether D-dimer levels are high would immensely aid those who have a particularly high risk of developing a blood clot. In conclusion, this D-dimer monitor has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life in people who are prone to DVT.

[1] Cushman, Mary. “Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Venous Thrombosis.” The National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2020806/.
[2] Almodaimegh, Hind, et al. “Awareness of Venous Thromboembolism and Thromboprophylaxis among Hospitalized Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study.” BioMed Central, BioMed Central, 19 July 2017, www.thrombosisjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12959-017-0144-2.
[3] Harman-Boehm, Ilana, et al. “Noninvasive Glucose Monitoring: A Novel Approach.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Mar. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20144356.