Dr Thanikachalam is a healthcare provider with a career-long commitment to public health. As a cardiovascular surgeon, he’s saved the lives of hundreds of critically ill inpatients. As a physician devoted to public health, he has overseen numerous programs dedicated to the care of patients with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In his capacity as a physician and a community health advocate, Dr Thanikachalam is acutely aware of the limitations of current blood pressure measuring technologies.
To address these unmet needs, Dr Thanikachalam leads a collaborative team drawn from TUFTs and MIT, and supported by NIH grant 1U01EB018823-01A1 to develop ViTrack, the first stand-alone, cuff-less device that allows for continuous, non-invasive blood pressure (cNIBP) measurement. Unlike conventional occlusive devices, ViTrack offers direct, beat-to-beat measurement of blood pressure that is wearable, mobile, and easy to use, with the accuracy of an intra-arterial line. With data-rich capability that includes heart rate, heart rhythm, and respiratory parameters in addition to blood pressure, ViTrack enables early intervention prior to acute events.
Previous to his work at Dynocardia, Dr Thanikachalam has been a pioneer in the areas of population-based cardiovascular disease (CVD). His work includes risk assessment and point-of-care technologies to facilitate comprehensive, community-based intervention strategies for CVD prevention and management. In partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Dr Thanikachalam established a comprehensive CVD and diabetes management program with a custom-built virtual-care platform with the primary aim of increasing access to high-quality care, while reducing cost. With USAID support, he has led the efforts to develop a mobile-health technology platform, as an adjunct to the management of hypertension and diabetes by non-skilled health workers.
Dr Thanikachalam championed, or was lead investigator, for a number of technologies, including the following:
• A mobile phone-enabled peripheral-neuropathy analyzer for persons with diabetes, currently being commercialized
• A patch ultrasound sensor as a point-of-care device for home monitoring of extra-vascular lung water for remote management of congestive heart failure
• The clinical validation of other mobile enabled technologies such as a camera-based vital signs monitor, a retinal camera, and a mobile-enabled spirometer