When diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions such as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, clear, accurate, and reliable imaging of the heart and surrounding tissues is essential for achieving the best outcomes for patients. A new imaging technology for PAH and other related indications is currently moving its way through testing, and it set to be used in a high-profile heart and vascular care center in the United States.
Ventripoint Diagnostics Ltd. has announced that the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care in New York City has received approval to conduct a readmission study using the VMS, a new imaging technology that offers doctors a simple and rapidly-developed image that is rendered using conventional 2D echocardiographic data in order to obtain accurate, functional data. The VMS has been already approved for clinical use for selected indicators, such as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, in Canada, Europe and the United States, and the current research study will be headed by Dr. Mario García and Dr. Ileana Piña.
Dr. García, Chief of Cardiology at Motefiore-Einstein Center, stated, “We are pleased to initiate this study to look for better ways to assess right heart function.” On the other hand, Dr. Piña says; “We see an explosion of risk factors for heart disease, coupled with a demand to practice evidence-based medicine and to lower costs.”
In the United States, 26% of re-admissions to hospitals are made within 30 days of the first admission. Moreover, previous studies show that 48% of people with heart failure have right-heart involvement in the episode, and while these episodes are typically assessed using echocardiography, the images and data obtained from the initial imaging are often inadequate, and do not give doctors enough reliable, functional information to make a prognosis. Due to this lack of accurate information, it is expected that this study using the new technology will help to determine if the quantitative evaluation of right-heart function using the Ventripoint VMS Heart Analysis System will improve the monitoring of patients after initial treatment to determine if the therapy has been effective, or if further treatment or re-admission to the hospital is warranted.
Researchers point out that it is important to manage the re-admission rate of patients of serious diseases and conditions of the heart, such as PAH, due to the extra cost burden placed on the healthcare system. This is particularly true now that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, plans to use re-admission rates to severely penalize and fine hospitals by withholding 1-3% of total billings to hospitals that present high re-admission rates — a loss in healthcare revenues that is ultimately bound to be foisted on the patient through higher premiums. In 2013 alone, U.S. hospitals lost $225 million from re-admissions alone.
“We will immediately install two VMS™ heart analysis systems at Montefiore Hospital and begin recruitment,” stated Dr. George Adams, CEO of Ventripoint. “We would expect to have interim data midsummer and will initiate additional clinical sites based upon this information.”