STIMULUS project develops novel imaging technology for early cardiovascular disease detection


The STIMULUS project consortium is developing new tools to assess adverse changes in microcirculatory status associated with hypertension, chronic kidney disease and heart failure, leading to earlier detection of cardiovascular diseases. STIMULUS is funded by the EIC Pathfinder, a Horizon Europe funding scheme that supports research teams to develop the scientific basis for breakthrough technologies.

The development of new instruments helps to combat the challenge of earlier detection of cardiovascular diseases. For both heart failure and chronic kidney disease patients, it is important to diagnose microvascular dysfunction and monitor the deterioration of microvascular function in early phases of the disease progress. Underlining the importance of the issue, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. Moreover, in the EU, over 60 million people are suffering from these diseases.  

STIMULUS project consortium develops new non-invasive and easy-to-use imaging technology that can measure new digital biomarkers from microcirculation for early detection of cardiovascular diseases. The novel technology will enable earlier detection of heart failure and chronic kidney disease, which will substantially decrease cardiovascular events in the European population. The instruments are developed and validated in clinical trials. Two state-of-the-art technologies are integrated into a novel imaging technology. 

The University of Turku leads the project and oversees a work package focusing on instrument development, biosignal analysis and extraction of novel digital biomarkers. The other partners of the Consortium are Imec, Aalborg University Hospital, Inserm, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Finnish Heart Association as associated partner.

The funding period of the 4-year project started in October 2023. Last week, the partners gathered together for the first face-to-face meeting after the first six months of project work. The project’s kick-off meeting was arranged online at an early stage of the project. The meeting in Turku provided a chance to deeper discussions, co-designing, and joint planning of the next steps, and it will further facilitate a smooth flow of collaborative efforts.

The STIMULUS project team at the Agora building at the University of Turku.

The STIMULUS - Speckle Technology and Digital Biomarkers of Microvascular Function for Monitoring Cardiovascular Diseases – project is funded by a European Innovation Council Pathfinder Challenges grant. The total EU budget is 3.9M€. 

The EIC Pathfinder is a Horizon Europe funding scheme that supports research teams to develop the scientific basis for breakthrough technologies. It supports the earliest stages of scientific, technological or deep technology R&D. 

Created 19.04.2024 | Updated 22.04.2024