By Ajay Singh Chauhan
The rhythmic sound of the heart beating is the best thing a cardiologist wants to hear. But, for many heart patients, the path to that constant rhythm is far from steady. It is paved with many iterative technological innovations built on exciting scientific and medical disruption technologies.
Research shows that Indians are genetically predisposed to develop coronary heart disease. According to WHO statistics, NCDs account for about 53 percent of total deaths in India, with CVD alone accounting for a major share of 24 percent, not to mention the physical, social and economic burden of treatment and health management.
One of the many conditions that can affect the heart is arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat. There are many reasons that a person may experience this, ranging from coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, valve disorders, electrolyte imbalances, and injuries after a heart attack among other medical conditions. Arrhythmias can lead to complications that include stroke, sudden heart attack or heart failure. A person should see a doctor who can monitor for signs of arrhythmia.
Technology to the rescue
While the sharp upward trend in CVD poses serious challenges, modern technological innovations continue to create breakthroughs that facilitate a greater understanding of the disease, its prevention and treatment. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) increases the efficiency with which medical information is processed and facilitates decision-making. Similarly, machine learning leads to the development of new pharmaceuticals and the efficiency of the diagnosis process. In its part, augmented reality finds a wide range of applications – from assisting operations to assisting telehealth applications.
While modern histopathology methods that rely on digital scans increase diagnostic reliability and efficiency, technology allows better formulations and smarter treatments for effective treatment. Telehealth, which received a big boost during the pandemic, allows care providers to meet with patients via video conference. Meanwhile, wearables and IoT technologies are not only redefining CVD prevention and detection but also proving extremely useful in heart health and lifestyle management.
Hi-tech for the heart
Technology is transforming cardiac care and changing the parameters of patient care. Novel device-based technologies such as ventricular assist devices, transcatheter mitral valve repair and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators, to name just a few, have revolutionized the care of patients with heart problems. While pacemakers have been used for years to treat arrhythmia, advances in pacemaker technology have introduced smaller devices, forms that doctors prefer, remote monitoring and longer device life.
New-age MRI conditional models allow patients to undergo MR imaging examinations without harm to the equipment or changes to their settings. Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) have been used to save the lives of patients with known ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. New generation ICDs also come with the ability to serve as a pacemaker. The Left Ventricular Assist Device for patients with heart failure helps the left ventricle pump blood to the aorta as well as the rest of the body and the patient’s own heart, literally proving to be a lifesaver. Medical devices are now available that can be implanted in young infants using minimally invasive procedures to treat infants.
Today’s technology allows scientists to create 3D-printed models of heart valves that could create new horizons in heart surgery. Likewise, remote monitoring helps keep a close tab on the health of patients with disease conditions such as arrhythmias. A breakthrough heart health offering with innovative technology at its core has the potential to revolutionize the management of cardiovascular disease and significantly reduce the pain and suffering associated with CVD.
Focus on the future
Current gaps in existing knowledge will continue to provide impetus for the development of new technologies. Considering the challenges and the imperative to find solutions, the healthcare industry needs to boost technological development to achieve true breakthroughs. The development of new diagnostic methods, drugs and drug delivery systems, and medical devices have the potential to revolutionize the management of CVDs and provide better patient outcomes. Creating an ecosystem in the healthcare industry will help deliver better, faster, and more efficient care.
Health technology continues to drive breakthroughs in our understanding of CVD and push the boundaries of how healthcare is delivered. The integration of advanced technologies will continue to facilitate stronger CVD management and make interventional care safer, facilitating the fight against CVD and improving the quality of heart and patient life.
Disclaimer: The information mentioned in this document is suggestive/for patient education only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.
By Ajay Singh Chauhan, General Manager, India, SEA, HK, Taiwan and Korea, Cardiac Rhythm Management, Abbott
(DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed is only the author’s and ETHealthworld should not subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com is not responsible for any damage caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly)