NHS England to Introduce 3D Heart Scans for Quicker Diagnosis of CAD

Pavankumar Kamat

May 05, 2021

NHS England is to introduce a pioneering technology called HeartFlow for quicker diagnosis and treatment of suspected heart disease.

HeartFlow transforms a regular cardiac computerised tomography (CT) scan into a three-dimensional (3D) image, enabling physicians to diagnose coronary heart disease (CAD) within 20 minutes. The technology could potentially cut the need for invasive and laborious angiographies. Furthermore, it will also reduce the burden on the NHS staff who are already overwhelmed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the diagnosis of CAD using HeartFlow, appropriate interventions including surgery, medication or stenting can be considered. Low-risk patients can be educated regarding healthy lifestyle changes or put on cholesterol-lowering medications before their risk becomes serious.

HeartFlow is being delivered as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with the goal of reducing heart attacks and strokes by 150,000. Around 100,000 individuals will be eligible to use HeartFlow over the next three years, with >35,000 people likely to benefit annually.

NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS Long Term Plan committed to cutting strokes, heart attacks and other major killers as well as ensuring patients would benefit from cutting edge therapies and techniques and HeartFlow is just the latest example of that.”

Matt Whitty, director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, added: “This latest innovation will help patients and will contribute to helping the NHS to recover from the pandemic as we continue to deliver on our ambitious Long Term Plan commitments to provide patients across the country with the most up to date tech, as quickly as possible.”

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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