Hillel's Tech Corner: Vectorious - Taking technology to heart. Literally.

The Vectorious team, which is now more than 30 members strong, has successfully implanted in-heart micro computers in multiple countries across Europe and Israel.

Vectorious' in-heart microcomputers (photo credit: Courtesy)
Vectorious' in-heart microcomputers
(photo credit: Courtesy)
We all know from seeing it, hearing of it or experiencing it happening to a loved one – heart failure is an epidemic, and one of the greatest challenges of modern-day healthcare. This disease has close to 27 million patients worldwide, of which the elderly make up 7%. It is the cause of over 1.1 million hospitalizations in the US annually, and the reason behind the low quality of life for sufferers. An estimated 50% typically die within five years after their initial heart failure diagnosis. Heart failure also causes a heavy burden on healthcare systems worldwide, costing more than $108B annually.
Worst of all, this is one of those diseases in which if you already feel symptoms, it may be too late to manage without compromising the quality of life.
This has led me to wonder – is there a way for a heart that may potentially be at risk to get tested, or even treated, before it’s too late? Is there any way to add some transparency to the world of heart disease, thereby increasing our confidence in the health of our hearts?
Thankfully, there is: Vectorious Medical Technologies.
Based in Tel Aviv, Vectorious’ V-LAP sensory implant is the first digital, wireless, battery-free device that is able to communicate from deep within the body. It monitors the heart’s left atrial pressure (LAP), which has been proven to be the earliest, most accurate and effective predictor for heart failure deterioration. This allows physicians to make informed decisions and to provide heart failure patients with remote treatment based on real-time clinical data and powerful AI algorithms. By using accurate data to adjust medication, physicians prevent further deterioration and help their patients avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
The device weighs about five grams and is made from titanium. It is 3 mm. in diameter and introduced through a 4 mm. tube that is placed through the septum into the left atrium. The implant is then advanced through this tube. The materials have very high biocompatible characteristics and allow long term implantation. These materials will not corrode or react with body fluids.
In terms of the tech found in the V-LAP implant, it includes an ASIC chip, which is a tiny semiconductor (1×2 mm.) that implements a circuitry which reads the MEMS pressure transducer values, processes the data and wirelessly transmits it to the home-based unit.
The circuitry in the ASIC chip consumes less than a milliwatt of power, it operates without an internal battery (it harvests the energy produced by the external unit), and has a digital processing unit and wirelessly transmits multiple input channels.
The founders, Oren Goldshtein and Dr. Eyal Orion first met in 2011. They identified existing heart failure management as a clear unmet clinical need, and tried to imagine the next stage of implantable hemodynamic monitoring, without limiting themselves with technological and medical constraints. At that time, the only way to really understand what was happening in the patient’s heart was through the insertion of a catheter with a pressure sensing tip inside a hospital environment. That was obviously far too costly and impractical for most patients.
Goldshtein and Orion then realized the need to harness technology that can have the most accurate and specific physiological indication available daily and remotely at home. By blending their professional backgrounds, they came up with the idea of the V-LAP to remotely monitor the heart’s left atrial pressure. They understood the power of bringing digitally generated data from the heart, and using AI-based analyses to improve treatment decisions and outcomes for patients suffering from heart failure.
Before co-founding Vectorious, Goldshtein served in both managerial and lead-engineer positions in semiconductor and telecommunications businesses including CopperGate Communications (acquired by Sigma Designs USA), Amimon, and Metalink (acquired by Lantiq, Germany). Through these roles, he gained experience in all aspects of company building, technology innovation, implementation, and commercialization. Goldshtein holds an MSc and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Orion is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Vascular Graft Solutions (VGS) which provides cardiovascular surgery solutions. He obtained a BSc (Med) from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Since 2015, Vectorious raised over $17.5M from numerous leading investors including Zohar Zisapel, Zohar Gilon, Gur Munzer, Ari Steimatzky, Ari Raved, Yehuda Zisapel, Broadview Ventures (US VC,) The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (which happens to be the biggest hospital chain in the US,) GEOC (China VC,) and Fresenius Medical Care (US+Germany public company).
Vectorious started its CE mark study in Europe (Italy, Germany, UK and Israel) in January 2019 and until now, 13 patients were enrolled in the study, with three of them in Israel in the The Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus (Petah Tikva) and Shaare Zedek Medical Center (Jerusalem). Vectorious is expected to launch a clinical study in the US in 2022.
The Vectorious team, which is now more than 30 members strong, has successfully implanted in-heart micro computers in multiple countries across Europe and Israel. Their clinical study demonstrated huge potential in helping millions of people living with heart failure take control and manage their disease, keeping them stable, out of hospitals, and living longer, fuller lives.
Goldshtein believes that heart failure management will go through the same revolution diabetes management went through: that in the not very far future, every patient with chronic heart disease will be remotely monitored by in-body microsensors that will give real time, accurate indication about how the heart is functioning. No more guessing games and estimations, but accurate data that will enable optimal treatment and will help caregivers make informed decisions to halt the progression of heart failure.
Goldshtein also expects the V-LAP to be an enabler of combined diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices, or in other words, to make devices, like pacemakers and shunts smarter, by enabling them to manage heart diseases remotely.
It is worth noting that as the world realizes the importance of remote medicine and healthcare, Vectorious’ offering becomes significantly more important.
Here’s to wishing the Vectorious team success in achieving the growth they need to make their technology accessible to all. I’d love to see where this company stands five years from now in terms of impact. We can only hope that they can help significantly decrease the number of people suffering greatly from heart failure.