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Revolutionary 3D Tech: The Lifesaving Future of Heart Care!

The medical field is experiencing significant transformation owing to digital technology’s newfound capabilities across sectors including cardiovascular healthcare where remarkable progress recently caught attention. The researchers at University Sheffield alongside Insigneo Institute and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation have successfully shaped VIRTUHeart TM into existence which utilize intricate 3D computer models to closely dissect the blood flow going within heart arteries.

Doctors will benefit from this very helpful tool by gaining a unique insight into the coronary system, all thanks to VIRTUHeart TM. Dr. Hazel Arfah Haley, an Interventional Cardiologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust led a breakthrough study that explored the advanced capabilities of virtual technology in managing complex heart disease.

VIRTUHeart TM works by creating digital 3D models of patients’ blood vessels based on images collected during angiograms tests and offers valuable information on obstruction levels within blood vessels leading to or from the heart i.e., coronary arteries hence cutting down invasion during critical situations. The innovation behind VIRTUHeart TM is chiefly in transforming Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR), an underutilized testing procedure due to its complexities such as requiring specialized wires inserted into arteries for measurement purposes and little clinician familiarity.
As a ‘virtual FFR,’ this new technology offers doctors an intricate view of heart conditions which they can use personally or even remotely amid covid-19 pandemic-based restrictions while reducing patient invasiveness during treatment procedures for one of the most crucial heart attack tests.

This medical breakthrough could revolutionise many lives.
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on unsplash.

During trials, it was seen that positive effects of implementing VIRTUHeartTM were significant: more than 20% of patients would have had their treatment paths adjusted thus decreasing invasive procedures such as stent fitting. The novelty intrinsic in VIRTUHeartTM has potential benefits not only for improving patient care but also reducing annual UK Coronary Angiograms cases (250k) hence cutting down on healthcare expenses. Optimizing cardiac care through innovative means is becoming increasingly prominent as demonstrated by an investigative study co-funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Their research involved 208 heart attack patients afflicted with NSTEMI whose interventions were examined utilizing virtual blood vessel modeling pre and post-treatment administration compared to actual treatment protocols administered by physicians.

Results showed that treatment plans would have been different for 22% of the subjects had VIRTUHeartTM been utilized, with medication alone being a viable option for 21 invasive procedure cases. By enabling doctors to make more accurate clinical decisions through the use of this digital technology, patients would receive more individualized treatment, resulting in better health outcomes.

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