LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – CHI St. Vincent announced today that the Heart Institute has become the first healthcare provider in Central Arkansas to adopt HeartFlow Analysis, a first-of-its-kind non-invasive technology to aid physicians in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease.
In addition to helping cardiologists identify which patients do and do not need invasive treatments, the use of HeartFlow Analysis has also been shown to reduce the cost of care by 26% compared to standard care.
“HeartFlow helps us continue to put patients first by limiting potentially invasive procedures that are typically used to determine whether a patient would need yet another invasive procedure to restore blood flow,” said CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute President Marcia Atkinson. “We can now determine the right treatment for a patient in a much more convenient, non-invasive way.”
The HeartFlow Analysis uses patient data and leverages deep learning to create a personalized, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. It then uses powerful computer algorithms to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages on blood flow to the heart. Within hours, the patient’s physician has the information needed to identify the extent of a patient’s arterial blockage and the impact the blockage has on blood flow to the heart. HeartFlow Analysis has been used for more than 30,000 patients with suspected heart disease.
“This is game-changing technology that will prove beneficial for both our patients and the overall care we provide them,” said Dr. Clayton Borg, a cardiologist with the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute. “We already practice a collaborative approach to care, conferring with expert colleagues on the most appropriate treatment for each patient. HeartFlow Analysis will now become part of that process as we care for patients with coronary artery disease and limit the need for potentially stressful tests and procedures.”
CAD is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. CAD develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow or become blocked, which may lead to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Despite being the most common form of heart disease, studies have shown there is a need to improve how CAD is evaluated and diagnosed. Many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting CAD. Additionally, a recent study found more than half of patients with suspected CAD who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram (ICA) had no need for intervention, since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the procedure.