Childhood cancer survivors are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the disease occurs on average eight years earlier than the general population. There are approximately a half million childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. Even though the link with CVD is known, many of the survivors are not monitored by oncologists and their PCPs are not aware of the connection. We’ve written about activity trackers that help monitor heart patients, an artificial intelligence application that predicts heart disease from retina images, and other wearables that track heart rate, heart rate variation, pulse, and blood pressure.

Researchers at CalTech and City of Hope have developed a handheld electronic monitor called Vivio that is used specifically to monitor cardiovascular health with childhood cancer survivors. The Vivio is a small device that is held over the person’s carotid artery. Data is transmited via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet where it is forwarded for review by qualified medical personnel. A study published in Clinical Cancer Research showed that monitoring with Vivio produced comparable results with echocardiography and cardiac MRIs, the two standard tests today. Vivo also returned fewer false negatives than echocardiography.

The Vivio monitor is not intended to replace echocardiography or MRIs, but its small form factor lets healthcare professionals and patients take the device into the community for screening. The next step in hardware development is a device that individuals can use in their homes.