First-of-its-kind AI helping heart patients

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ascension Seton is the first health system in Central Texas to implement a new medical technology that uses artificial intelligence to transform the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

The technology, called HeartFlow, allows clinicians to use a resting coronary CT scan on a patient to create a personalized 3D model of their heart to better evaluate the impact a blockage has on blood flow and determine the best treatment for patients.

The test results in a color-coded map that aids clinicians in determining, vessel-by-vessel, if sufficient blood is reaching the heart.

In the United States, many patients who are sent for invasive coronary angiography do not ultimately have any clinically meaningful obstruction of coronary blood flow.

The use of HeartFlow greatly reduces unnecessary invasive heart catherization, allowing for improved recovery time and quality of life for patients. The use of HeartFlow can also reduce patient costs compared to the usual testing for patients with suspected coronary artery disease.

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a diagnostic test that has been available for many years now and allows for imaging of the coronary arteries to identify coronary artery disease.

Until recently, this anatomic data by itself has been somewhat difficult to interpret. HeartFlow is a novel artificial intelligence-based software application that allows for advanced computer modeling of the coronary arteries and provides a functional assessment of coronary artery disease that is identified on CCTA studies.

CCTA with HeartFlow can provide clinicians and patients with both anatomic and functional data regarding their coronary arteries.

“At Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, we are very excited to be the first hospital in Central Texas to offer this advanced heart imaging technology to our patients,” said Dr. Tuan Nguyen, cardiologist at Ascension Seton. “Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in United States. Identification of coronary artery atherosclerotic disease is an important first step but knowing how best to manage patients can be a complicated process.  HeartFlow can help patients avoid unnecessary invasive procedures and can help clinicians better identify patients in need of treatment.”

Seton Heart Institute is the cardiac division of Ascension Seton, offering complete cardiac services from the treatment of chest pain to minimally invasive heart surgery and the latest in structural heart procedures.

The Seton Heart Institute team of specialists use the latest technology available to diagnose and treat all types of heart problems, from the most common to the most complex. Cardiology services include cardiac transplants, pacemaker and ventricular assist device implantation, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, consultative cardiology, and advanced cardiac imaging.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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