HeartFlow: An NHS Innovation Technology Payment (ITP)

Posted on 11th October, 2018

HeartFlow is a physiology simulation solution used to create a personalised, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages on coronary blood flow. Its use may avoid the need for invasive investigations and provide a cost saving of £214 per patient. It is recommended by NICE (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/mtg32/resources)

It was chosen to be one of four ITP products in the 2018/19 round and is available through the ITP untill March 2019.

About

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of cardiovascular disease and the world’s number one killer. CAD affects more than 2.3 million people in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation. It often goes undetected or is misdiagnosed.

Clinicians diagnosing someone with suspected CAD want to know as definitively as possible if the individual has a significant blockage in their coronary arteries. They also want to know the impact of that blockage on blood flow so they can best determine the appropriate treatment pathway. This might include medical management, stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting or other treatment.

HeartFlow provides clinicians with a more efficient pathway for diagnosing CAD; combineing simulation models and medical imaging data. 

The HeartFlow Analysis utilises data from a patient’s non-invasive coronary CT. Once the data is securely uploaded to the cloud, HeartFlow leverages deep learning and trained technicians to create a personalised, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. The HeartFlow Analysis then simulates blood flow and assess the impact of blockages on coronary blood flow.

The HeartFlow Analysis has been associated with improved patient outcomes as clinicians use the information to provide the right treatment to the right patient. Studies have also demonstrated that the technology positively impacts patients and providers by reducing the overuse of invasive diagnostic coronary angiography procedures, a common procedure that has risks including bleeding, stroke, major blood vessel damage and other serious complications.

It also offers estimated cost savings of £17 million by reducing unnecessary procedures. 

Key Objectives

  1. Reduce unnecessary procedures for patients
  2. Improve the speed and accuracy of testing for CAD
  3. Provide cost savings for the NHS