US-based digital health company Eko has received a $2.7m Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant will support the company’s ongoing study with NorthWestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute that aims to validate algorithms for pathologic heart murmurs and valvular heart disease screening.

Cardiovascular disease is considered to be a leading cause of mortality in the US. Due to the challenges in detecting hearing murmurs with traditional stethoscopes, valvular heart disease often goes undetected.

The study intends to help clinicians to identify patients with heart disease without the use of screening tools such as echocardiograms, which are only available at speciality clinics.

Ekochief medical officer Adam Saltman said: “This SBIR award from the NIH underscores our vision to provide world-class cardiovascular care at the patient’s point of care.

“Our mission is to change how cardiovascular disease is diagnosed, and as one of the first centres in the country to study AI and cardiovascular disease Northwestern is an ideal partner to help us reach our goal.”

Eko and Northwestern initiated their collaboration in March last year.

In a separate development, Canon Medical Systems USA has received 510(k) clearance for its Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) for the Vantage Orian 1.5T MR system.

The technology uses a deep-learning algorithm to differentiate true signal from noise and suppress the noise while facilitating advanced signal, image reconstruction and seamless workflow.

It is available across a majority of Canon Medical’s CT product portfolio, including Vantage Galan 3T MR system.

Meanwhile, another US MedTech company Integra LifeSciences has obtained the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for a specific neurosurgery indication for its CUSA Clarity Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator System.

The indication enables CUSA Clarity to be used in neurosurgery for resection of tumours, ranging from soft to firm consistencies. This includes the removal of primary and secondary malignant and benign brain and spinal tumours, as well as meningiomas and gliomas.

Last year, Integra LifeSciences acquired neurosurgical devices maker Arkis Biosciences.