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Technology That is Paving the Way for Heart Health by@timmurawski

Technology That is Paving the Way for Heart Health

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Tim Murawski

Chicago-based. CCO @ AugMedics. MedTech. Healthcare.

When we think of overall health, heart health is key. A healthy ticker prevents heart disease and lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack. It boosts longevity and helps with athletic performance. 

Studies have also shown that good heart health can protect hearing and neurological function.

Researchers realize how important heart health is and they are doing their part by coming up with advances that will improve quality of life. This article will discuss the technology that was recently introduced.

TAVT Treatment for Aortic Stenosis

Aortic valves stenosis is a condition characterized by a narrowed aortic valve that restricts blood flow to the aorta. If the condition is not treated, heart failure could occur. 

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces the restricted valve. It was once only available to patients too weak to undergo open-heart surgery but now it is an option for all patients regardless of risk categories. 

The procedure involves the operating physician inserting a catheter into the femoral artery through the groin or chest to the arteries of the heart. Advanced imaging aids with navigation so doctors can replace the problematic aortic valve with a new artificial valve. 

TAVR serves as a less complicated alternative to open-heart operations and it does not require an extensive recovery period. 

Watchmen Treatments for AFib

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) occurs due to an irregular heartbeat that affects blood flow and causes clots to form. It is commonly treated with blood thinners but not everyone can take blood thinners due to health issues

The Watchman implant is an alternative for people with AFib that can’t take blood thinners. It is a small, permanent implant that reduces the risk of stroke. 

The parachute-like device expands when inserted. It closes off the left atrial appendage which is the area of the heart in which blood pools and clots. It shuts off the area to prevent clots from being released. 

HeartFLow FFRct Analysis for Advanced Treatment of Heart Disease

The right treatment plan is essential when it comes to managing heart disease. HeartFlow FFRct (fractional flow reserve) Analysis is a newly developed diagnostic tool that provides an improved assessment of a patient’s arteries. It is used in combination with a CT scan to create a 3D image of the arteries and measure blood flow making for a more accurate representation of the patient’s anatomy. 

Physicians can use the information the HeartFlow FFRct provides to find the best treatment plan for their patients. 

MitraClip Treatments for Leaky Mitral Valve

Mitral regurgitation, or a leaky mitral heart valve, can be a life-threatening condition. 

The mitral valve contains mitral leaflets, two valves that open and close to allow blood to circulate. When the leaflets become damaged, they may not seal properly causing the blood to flow backward making the heart work harder. This increases the risk of numerous heart conditions. 

The MitraClip procedure is a minimally invasive procedure. It involves attaching a small clip to the mitral valve to allow it to open and close properly. During the procedure, the physician inserts a catheter into the leg vein to guide the clip to the heart where it is attached to the mitral valve to assist in normal functioning. 

Artificial Intelligence and Heart Imaging

Researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence technology for heart imaging. It will allow doctors to examine hearts for scar tissue and eliminate the need for the contrast injections typically required in traditional cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR).

The researchers, who include doctors at UVA Health, have introduced Virtual Native Enhancement (VNE) that incorporates contrast-enhanced CMR scans to monitor hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common genetic heart condition. The higher quality images that are produced are more effective in showing scar tissues and eliminate the need for injecting the contrast agent involved in traditional CMR. 

Scar tissue is often responsible for the progression of heart failure and sudden cardiac death. The new technology will help doctors image the heart more quickly and more frequently so they can detect small changes earlier. 

It will be a good option for patients that are allergic to the contrast agent injected in CMR as well as those with failing kidneys who should not be using the agent. 

The new technology works by using AI to enhance T1-maps of the heart tissue through advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which produces images similar to movies of moving tissues. It produces something almost identical to contrast-enhanced CMR scans only better. It offers higher image quality for optimal medical review and a more convenient treatment option for patients. 

Conclusion

Good heart health is so important. Advances in technology are making patients' hearts healthier while offering less invasive, more effective treatment options. This will provide increased longevity and a better quality of life to people worldwide.

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