Portsmouth Hospitals using new AI Technology

Portsmouth University Hospitals have been pioneering the use of a new technology to help diagnose coronary heart disease quicker. Since 2018 the department has been using technology from Heartflow to help analyse specialised CT scans taken at the hospital. This has helped to reduce the time patients wait for diagnosis and treatment as well as reducing the number of patients who require invasive cardiac assessments.

The technology not only allows the data from the CT to be reconstructed providing a 3D model of the arteries on the surface of the heart but also uses artificial intelligence to assess the flow in these arteries using complex fluid dynamic models. This allows clinicians to assess blockages and plan treatment.

Dr Peter Haworth, a consultant cardiologist at Queen Alexandra Hospital, said: “Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust started using the technology in 2018 and since adding it to the diagnostic pathway, both the length of waiting times and the rate of invasive investigation has decreased significantly. Diagnosing CHD used to be a protracted process, involving lots of tests. HeartFlow gives us anatomical and functional information in one go, which means we can confidently tell patients whether they need further intervention, or if they can be treated with medication alone.

‘Confidence in the technology has grown and, now that we’re using CT with HeartFlow FFRCT, the use of diagnostic angiography has significantly reduced. We’ve gone from dedicating three sessions a week to these procedures to just one session a month. Dr Haworth added: ‘We are constantly striving to improve the time it takes to reach a diagnosis and complete treatment and heart flow technology has been instrumental in this for us.’

Lance Scott, chief commercial officer at HeartFlow added: “NHS England leads the world with its approach to CHD diagnosis, one of the country’s biggest killers.

“During the global pandemic, the CT-HeartFlow diagnostic pathway has meant patients spend less time in hospitals, and it’s a good example of how the NHS’s approach of adopting leading digital technologies is helping the public health service to become more efficient. Patients can receive a diagnosis and treatment plan after just one trip to the hospital and many can go home reassured they only need to be treated with medication. We’re pleased to be working with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust to streamline the patient diagnostic experience and reduce unnecessary procedures.”

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