Pioneering Artificial Intelligence technology helping to detect heart disease faster at Hartlepool's hospital trust
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North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and medical technology company HeartFlow are raising awareness of the world-leading technology they are using to help clinicians diagnose coronary heart disease one of the UK’s biggest killers.
HeartFlow Analysis uses artificial intelligence (AI) and highly trained analysts to create a 3D computer model of a patient’s coronary arteries and means they can be diagnosed within days and with just one hospital visit.
The health trust, which runs the university hospitals of Hartlepool and North Tees, in Stockton, is also urging people to be aware of the symptoms of heart disease and seek medical advice if they are experiencing them.
It coincides with February being National Heart Month.
The HeartFlow Analysis uses data from a patient’s CT scan before its algorithms solve millions of equations to simulate blood flow in the arteries to help clinicians assess the impact of any blockages.
It has helped the trust to reduce reliance on more invasive procedures for diagnosing heart disease.
And it is reducing the amount of time spent interacting with medical professionals in person, which is particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Justin Carter, consultant cardiologist at the North Tees and Hartlepool trust, said: "The technology has been transformative, fully streamlining our path to diagnosis and improving both patient experience and health outcomes.
“While further invasive testing such as an angiogram will remain necessary for some patients, the insights from HeartFlow mean that we can be highly confident that those we send on to such treatment are those who truly require it.”
Consultant cardiologist Dr Nicholas Child added: “Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death and it’s important that we maintain efforts to diagnose and treat those with heart disease.
"Consequently, regardless of the current climate, we urge anyone who suspects they are experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention as soon as possible.”
Lance Scott, Chief Commercial Officer at HeartFlow said: “The global pandemic has certainly increased appetite for digital technologies that are able to assist medical professionals with efficiencies and the diagnosis of disease.
"The CT-HeartFlow pathway has meant patients spend less time in hospitals and improves their hospital experience with faster outcomes.”