NHS 3D heart scans to speed up disease diagnosis

 

The NHS is rolling out revolutionary technology to diagnose and treat around 100,000 patients with suspected heart disease, five times faster than normal.

 

Known as HeartFlow, the latest innovation delivered as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, turns a regular CT scan of the heart into a 3D image allowing doctors to diagnose life-threatening coronary heart disease in just twenty minutes.

 

Previously patients would have to go in hospital for an invasive and time-consuming angiogram. Patients will now be seen, diagnosed, and treated, around five times quicker, offering more convenient care and helping hardworking NHS Staff to get services back on track after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan goal to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by 150,000.

 

Around 100,000 people are eligible to use HeartFlow over the next three years, with more than 35,000 people set to benefit each year.

 

NHS medical director 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.

 

“By rapidly improving the rate we diagnose and treat those with a heart condition we will save thousands of lives and ensure as well as delivering the most successful vaccination programme in health service history, the NHS is able to deliver routine services even quicker than before the pandemic.”

 

Matt Whitty, director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, said:

 

“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.

 

“HeartFlow has been a huge success in clinical trials and will now help tens of thousands of people a year receive quick diagnosis and treatment and ultimately save lives.”

 

Dr Derek Connolly, consultant interventional cardiologist at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said:

 

“For every five patients who have a cardiac CT and a HeartFlow Analysis, four patients go home knowing they don’t need anything else. Half of those patients will be on cholesterol tablets because they have early disease, and the other half will have normal coronary arteries.

 

“Incorporating the HeartFlow Analysis has had a meaningful impact at our hospitals, improving the diagnosis and treatment of the leading cause of death.”

 

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