The coronary CT image analysis technology of Caristo has been developed under research collaboration led by Oxford University academics.

The technology is based on the scientific discovery, under which fat tissue surrounding the coronary arteries senses the presence of inflammation in the coronary artery.

Caristo’s technology will detect these changes through analyzing routine coronary CT angiograms (CCTA), enabling to produce fat attenuation index (FAI) that can accurately quantify the extent of inflammation in the coronary arteries supplying the heart.

The FAI can be aggregated with other known risk factors and imaging characteristics to establish new cardiac risk score (CaRi), which offers better prognostic insight compared to other existing risk-assessment biomarker.

Clinicians can use Caristo’s technology to early identify people who are at risk of having a heart attack, and take preventative measures such as lifestyle modification and initiating preventive medication.

The firm’s technology is hardware agnostic and can be evaluated on any standard CCTA. By deploying the technology on SaaS basis, the technology can be implemented in hospitals without any changes to hospital infrastructure.

Helathcare providers and biopharmaceutical firms can use the new technology as a companion diagnostic to guide deployment of treatments in primary and secondary prevention.

The study was conducted on FAI, which analyzed more than 3,900 patients in both Europe and the US and it also includes follow up data for up to 10 years.

Caristo Diagnostics gathered £2m seed funding in a financing round led by consortium of investors, including Oxford Technology Investment Fund, Longwall Ventures and Oxford Sciences Innovation.

Oxford University Innovation has supported the development and launch of Caristo Diagnostics. The research on FAI was carried out collaboratively with partners such as Cleveland Clinic and the University of Erlangen.

Oxford University Innovation senior licensing and ventures manager Dr Victoria Sanchez said: “Heart disease remains the world’s biggest killer – claiming over a hundred thousand lives every year in the UK alone. In many cases, these deaths could be avoided, yet instead are treated reactively after the damage has been done.”