Non-Invasive Technology to Measure Cardiovascular Responses and Adaptations to Exercise

Project Title: Non-Invasive Technology to Measure Cardiovascular Responses and Adaptations to Exercise

Project Lead’s Name: Kevin Ballard


Phone: (513) 529-9247

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CEHS

Faculty/Staff Sponsor (required for student-submitted proposals): Helaine Alessio

Sponsor Email Address:

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Kyle Timmerman

Other Team Member Email Address:

Brief description of project: Biomarkers of cardiovascular health are commonly assessed in several Miami University Kinesiology and Health (KNH) laboratories by measuring blood lipids, metabolic responses to different exercise bouts, and electrocardiogram recordings that provide information about quality and quantity of heart rate and rhythm at rest, during graded exercise stress, and recovery. Additionally, the KNH Department currently houses a portable, high-resolution ultrasound system which is used for both teaching and research purposes to non-invasively assess blood vessel structure and function. The objective of this proposal is to obtain one high-resolution cardiac probe compatible with our existing ultrasound system to non-invasively assess cardiac function and enhance experiential learning for KNH students.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: Current Problem: Traditional methods of teaching cardiac clinical assessment and training at Miami University have relied on history taking, diet analysis, blood pressure measurement, standard electrocardiogram, auscultation, and treadmill exercise testing to determine parameters such as heart rate recovery. While these manual techniques should continue and will not be replaced in the near future, our students must keep pace with other exercise science, public health, and medical programs that currently use equipment described in this proposal to record cardiac function measures such as stroke volume, cardiac output, and ejection fraction.

Our approach to solving the problem: The project team believes the technology described in our proposal will integrate various health disciplines. For example, a sedentary subject exhibiting negative cardiovascular indicators (e.g., overweight, high blood pressure) is likely to exhibit reduced cardiac function at rest compared to a physically active subject. Lifestyle interventions, including nutrition counseling and physical activity, could be utilized to determine if improvements in cardiac function occur over time. Additionally, as both heart rate and stroke volume are regulated by the autonomic nervous system (i.e., balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems), the technology described in our proposal could be used to examine the impact of various "stressors" on the cardiovascular system, a topic of interest to both psychologists and physiologists. Thus, a team approach to cardiovascular assessment will be encouraged.

The major goal of the proposal team is to enhance experiential learning in the classroom and in the laboratories by allowing students to utilize state-of-the-art technology to assess cardiac function. Miami University has been very proactive in keeping pace with new technology, the future direction of health data management, and provides students with state-of-the-art experiential learning. It is envisioned that Miami students will integrate their traditional classroom and laboratory experience with the introduction of additional clinically-relevant measures, such as non-invasive assessment of cardiac function.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: A significant portion of KNH majors will find careers in the clinical health professions and allied health activities including health research, clinical drug trials, and patient screening. Acquisition of the Terason 4V2 cardiac probe will provide Miami students an opportunity to keep current with the types of progressive technology and health-screening tools they are likely to use when in post-graduate and professional programs in health and medicine.

How will you assess the project?: Expected Project Outcome: Students will demonstrate competence in professionally placing the equipment on a subject, recording the cardiac variables under different conditions (e.g. rest, different stressors, recovery), and analyzing the data and interpreting the results between and within individuals differing in sex, age, body size, and health status.

Assessment of Project Outcome: Evaluations of student outcomes (understanding cardiac function concepts, healthcare applications, interpreting results, and evaluation of treatment modalities) will be implemented by the course instructors. Laboratory instructors will play a large role in the practical skills assessment, as the laboratory will be the venue for equipment demonstration, subject interaction, data collection, data transfer, and identification of cardiac variables.

It is also envisioned that at a minimum, 3-5 Capstone projects (or independent student research projects) would employ this technology per year, whether the project focuses upon subject recruitment for classification, investigation of various stressors, or treatment modalities to improve cardiac function.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: No

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: The initial equipment purchase includes the Terason 4V2 cardiac probe. A three-year warranty is included in the purchase price. The cardiac probe does not require annual calibration maintenance nor software. The Terason 4V2 cardiac probe will be housed in the KNH Exercise Physiology Laboratory (room 18 Phillips Hall). Both the existing ultrasound system and associated cardiac probe are portable and can be moved from room to room or easily transported by hand to a university-associated health clinic. Additionally, we are requesting funds to purchase a medical bed and foam mattress for subjects to rest comfortably during assessment of cardiac function. The foam mattress can easily be disinfected between subjects. It is expected every year that approximately $300 of KNH department funds will be used to purchase required ultrasound gel. Dr. Kevin Ballard will be responsible for maintaining the equipment and keeping current with technology advances.

Budget: Software, Hardware, Other

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): Terason 4V2 cardiac probe

Hardware Costs: $6,000.00

Other (please explain): Stryker medical bed and mattress

Other Costs: $3,452.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $9,452.00