The NHS is rolling out revolutionary technology to diagnose and treat around 100,000 patients with suspected heart disease, five times faster than normal.
Known as HeartFlow, the latest innovation delivered as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, turns a regular CT scan of the heart into a 3D image allowing doctors to diagnose life-threating coronary heart disease in just twenty minutes.
Previously patients would have to go in hospital for an invasive and time-consuming angiogram. Patients will now be seen, diagnosed, and treated, around five times quicker, offering more convenient care and helping hardworking NHS Staff to get services back on track after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan goal to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by 150,000.
NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to restore services and tackle the backlog after treating around 400,000 patients who were seriously ill with Covid-19 and millions more besides over the last year. Hospitals admitted more than 100,000 Covid patients in January alone.
Once patients are diagnosed using the 3D image treatments include surgery, medication or having a stent fitted. For less serious cases patients will be given tips on healthy lifestyle changes or cholesterol-lowering medication – meaning the risk is quickly resolved before it becomes life-threatening.
NHS medical director Stephen Powis said:
More people in England will have access to the potentially life-saving technology than anywhere else in Europe, the US or Japan.
Around 100,000 people are eligible to use HeartFlow over the next three years, with more than 35,000 people set to benefit each year.
Matt Whitty, director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, said:
Dr Derek Connolly, consultant interventional cardiologist at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said:
The NHS Long Term Plan promised that patients would benefit from faster adoption of cutting-edge technology and treatments.
This latest technology has been rolled out across the NHS from last month as part of the MedTech Funding Mandate policy, an NHS Long Term Plan commitment which supports the implementation of proven medical devices, diagnostics and digital products.
Since the NHS Long Term Plan was published, NHS England has rolled out the headache-busting device GammaCore as well as covid-friendly cancer drugs, SecurAcath and more.