3D Heart Scans to Give Faster Treatment
People in England with coronary heart disease will be seen, diagnosed and treated up to five times faster following the introduction of 3D heart scans being rolled out on the NHS.
The technology, called HeartFlow, means that people avoid having to undergo invasive and time-consuming angiograms in hospital as it can turn a regular CT scan of the heart into a 3D image, allowing doctors to diagnose patients in just 20 minutes. Rolling out HeartFlow is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition to cut the number of heart attacks and strokes by 150,000.
By providing quicker and convenient care, the innovation will also help the NHS cope with the backlog of care caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to NHS England, some 100,000 people will be eligible to use the technology over the next three years.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, BHF Medical Director, said: “It is good to see wider access and roll-out of this technology that can more accurately assess the severity of coronary disease by a CT scan across the NHS.
“This will benefit patients and the NHS by preventing unnecessary admissions for angiograms and quickly providing information that allows patients to be put on the best treatment pathway for their condition. This is particularly important at a time when we are dealing with the challenges that Covid-19 has caused to the delivery of normal care to patients with heart and circulatory diseases.”
There are currently 1.9 million people living with coronary heart disease in England. It is also one of England’s leading causes of death and the single biggest cause of premature death.
Commenting on the introduction of HeartFlow technology, Stephen Powis, NHS Medical Director, added: “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.”