German medical technology manufacturer iThera Medical’s imaging system has been awarded a CE mark, confirming that the product conforms with European health, safety and environmental protection standards. The system in question uses a new imaging modality named multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT). As such, it’s called the MSOT Acuity Echo. The non-invasive MSOT Acuity Echo device combines lasers and ultrasound and has the potential to provide better monitoring of IBD than current imaging systems. The device’s journey to CE certification was supported by the EU-funded EUPHORIA project that has focused on optimising the technology and testing the device as a clinical tool for non-invasively monitoring IBD. “We are very excited about the CE certification of our MSOT Acuity Echo system,” remarked iThera Medical co-founder and CEO Christian Wiest in a news release posted on the ‘Cision PRWeb’ website. “The integration of ultrasound imaging is key for clinical users of optoacoustics.” The MSOT Acuity Echo’s combined laser and ultrasound technology – a fast-tunable laser and various 2D and 3D detectors – can be used to visualise disease-related changes in optical contrast in soft tissue in real time. The novel MSOT imaging technology has a high spatiotemporal resolution and sensitivity for optical contrast. It’s also relatively inexpensive and doesn’t expose patients to health risks associated with radiation and contrast agents.
Non-invasive monitoring of IBD
People with IBD suffer from relapses in intestinal inflammation. When not in remission, this common chronic disease is treated with expensive drugs with significant side effects that often don’t even help the patient or become less effective over time. The invasive methods currently used to identify phases of high disease activity and monitor treatment success are so unpleasant for patients that they aren’t used very frequently. More frequent monitoring with the non-invasive MSOT scan could help healthcare professionals detect patients’ non-response to treatment earlier. As noted on the EUPHORIA website, “[i]f monitoring could be increased from six-monthly endoscopies to two-monthly MSOT monitoring, this could lead to an average 20% decrease in the cost of patient care (400-500 million euro per year).” Monitoring with MSOT scans doesn’t only offer the opportunity for healthcare systems to achieve huge cost reductions. It also represents enormous savings for society by reducing endoscopies and ineffective treatments. For Europe’s more than 2.5 million sufferers, it also lightens the burden of living with IBD and offers hope for better care. EUPHORIA project coordinator and iThera Medical Chief Commercial Officer Dr Philipp Bell stated: “Obtaining the CE mark is a major milestone for the EUPHORIA project. We see huge potential for the MSOT Acuity Echo and the opportunity for non-invasive patient imaging that it presents.” The EUPHORIA (Enhancing Ultrasound and PHOtoacoustics for Recognition of Intestinal Abnormalities) project ends in December 2021. While the project focuses on IBD, the MSOT technology could also be used in research on other inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and graft-versus-host disease. For more information, please see: EUPHORIA project website
EUPHORIA, inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, ultrasound, CE mark, multispectral optoacoustic tomography, imaging, MSOT Acuity Echo