World Heart Day: Castle Hill Hospital uses world-leading technology to fight heart disease

HeartFlow, Inc. and Castle Hill Hospital, run by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, have partnered to help clinicians diagnose one of the UK’s biggest killers, coronary heart disease (CHD). To mark World Heart Day, the hospital says its use of the pioneering technology, the HeartFlow Analysis, has improved the patient experience by reducing the number of patient visits to the hospital and safely reducing the number of invasive tests carried out. 

World Heart Day 2020.
World Heart Day, 29th September.

The HeartFlow Analysis takes data from a CT scan and leverages deep learning technology and highly trained analysts to create a personalised, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. Its algorithms solve millions of equations to simulate blood flow in a patient’s arteries to help clinicians assess the impact of any blockages. 

This unique technology helps doctors quickly diagnose CHD and decide the appropriate treatment for patients. In many cases, the information provided by the HeartFlow Analysis means that patients can avoid undergoing invasive diagnostic procedures, which can carry risks of complication and often be lengthy and involve discomfort. The HeartFlow Analysis is also estimated to save the NHS £214 per patient.[1]

Once a CT scan has been performed, the HeartFlow Analysis enables clinicians to diagnose a patient in just a matter of days, and with a much greater level of confidence. Patients can receive their diagnosis and have the correct treatment plan identified with minimal time spent in the hospital. This is of great advantage during the current COVID-19 outbreak, when face-to-face contact needs to be minimised.

Dr Imran Sunderji, Consultant Cardiologist at Castle Hill Hospital, said:   

“World Heart Day is a time for people around the globe to reflect on their heart health, and we’d like to take this opportunity to urge anyone who may be experiencing problems to come forward and seek help. We know people will be worried about COVID-19 right now, but it should not be a reason to delay or avoid seeking medical help for something as serious as chest pain.” 

“Technological advancements such as the incorporation of the HeartFlow Analysis into our diagnostic processes at Castle Hill Hospital mean that we can detect coronary artery disease quickly and safely. Crucially, it means we’re able to triage our patients more appropriately and ensure they’re getting exactly the right care and treatment that they need. Anybody in need of a test should seek medical attention as soon as possible without fear that patient care is hindered by the pandemic.” 

“At a time when everyone has concerns around COVID-19, using a CT and HeartFlow pathway has reduced the number of visits many of our patients are making to the hospital. The level of information provided through CT and HeartFlow allows us to make treatment decisions without the patient needing to come back to the hospital for additional non-invasive tests, like stress echo, or invasive tests, like angiographies.”

“We have been working closely with the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence on innovative approaches to cardiac care. We are proud to be one of the hospital trusts in the UK with this cutting-edge technology at its fingertips to help in the identification and treatment of coronary artery disease. As clinicians, our patients can be reassured by the additional confidence it gives us to make the right decisions around their care.”

Lance Scott, Chief Commercial Officer at HeartFlow said: “NHS England leads the world with its approach to CHD diagnosis, one of the country’s biggest killers. We’re pleased to be working with Castle Hill Hospital to streamline the patient diagnostic experience and reduce unnecessary procedures. Patients can receive a diagnosis and treatment plan with fewer visits to the hospital than traditional means of diagnosis and many can go home reassured they only need to be treated with medication.” 

“During the global pandemic, the CT-HeartFlow diagnostic pathway has meant patients spend less time in hospitals, and it’s a good example of how the NHS’s approach of adopting leading digital technologies is helping the public health service to become more efficient.”

HeartFlow’s technology is used in 56 NHSE hospitals with plans to be made available to approximately 70 by the end of 2020.

Top symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease

It’s vital that Britons understand the most common symptoms of heart disease, which are:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Unusual heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness, especially when not doing strenuous activity
  • Nausea
  • Sharp pains in the arm, neck or jaw

[Yemi Gbadebo – Heartflow Inc]