Toshiba Medical Systems is collaborating with several British institutions on research to identify the effects of exercise on young people's hearts.
Part of the study will include athletes from Manchester United Academy who will have their hearts monitored to see how they react during exercise.
Researchers will use Toshiba's Artida ultrasound scanner to assess the fitness levels of 300 children in this first-of-its-kind partnership. The study cohort will include as many as 100 children born with heart conditions, 100 healthy children and adolescents, and 100 junior athletes from Manchester United Academy.
The first stage of the trial this year will test 40 children with congenital heart disease, 40 normal healthy children, and 20 athletes, with all 300 cross-group tests and findings completed by 2016.
The overall aim of the project is to more precisely identify safe levels of exercise for children with congenital heart disease and determine positive benefits of regular exercise on normal healthy children over time. Additionally, data from the young athletes will be used to improve screening protocols for cardiac abnormalities in young athletes.
Toshiba is teaming with the Bristol Heart Institute at the University of Bristol, the Clinical Research and Imaging Center, and the University of Exeter's Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre for the project.