Experts recommend efficient use of technology in heartcare to help in enhancing patient safety and treatment

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases. It accounts for nearly half of all NCD deaths making it number one killer globally.

telehealth, remote monitoring, wearables, cardiac imaging, new percutaneous valve procedures, ventricular assist devices, leadless pacemakers, complex ablation
Doctors realised that the patients cannot come to doctors, but they must meet them halfway in a virtual environment. Similarly, remote monitoring becomes critical as it helps in timely intervention without visiting a hospital.

Experts have suggested that efficient use of technology in heartcare can help in enhancing patient safety and treatment. These technologies include telehealth, remote monitoring, wearables, cardiac imaging, some of the new percutaneous valve procedures, ventricular assist devices, as well as leadless pacemakers and complex ablation.

Doctors realised that the patients cannot come to doctors, but they must meet them halfway in a virtual environment. Similarly, remote monitoring becomes critical as it helps in timely intervention without visiting a hospital.

There has been a significant rise in the number of people being susceptible to heart ailments in the age group of 25 to 40 years. It is also believed that ignorance of mild symptoms is one of the leading causes of high mortality rate among both male and females. Asymptomatic heart attacks usually start showing symptoms in the early 20s and 30s which becomes fatal at a later age. It is evident that a timely intervention can help in such circumstances.

When hospitals were flooded in the second wave, patients took charge of their health and treated themselves at home. At that time, one medical device that played a crucial role was the oximeter. Everyone infected with Covid-19 was constantly monitoring their oxygen saturation level and only going to the hospitals when it decreased from a certain point. This not only helped in giving priority to critical patients but also led people with mild or no symptoms to treat themselves at the comfort of their homes. Similarly, it is not viable to visit the hospital frequently for your cardiovascular check-up, but it can be easily monitored at home with portable medical devices.

According to Dr Sunil Sofat, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology and Pacing, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, “This World Heart’s Day, I would like to request people to make lifestyle changes and follow preventive measures to avoid any cardiovascular complications. One should ensure to lead an active life refraining from alcohol consumption and smoking. Early detection and diagnosis is extremely crucial for heart health. Remote monitoring devices play an important role in keeping a check on one’s heart health. That data should be then evaluated by a doctor and seek guidance in case of a diversion. Remote monitoring becomes even critical if you have a family history of heart diseases as periodic health check-ups are important in these cases. Unfortunately, in our country, healthcare is an out-of-pocket expense which leads to people not reaching out to the professionals on time which leads to delay in the treatment. Technology is excellent provided it is used in the right manner and interpreted correctly. It can help the doctors as well as patients to seek out timely intervention.”

Speaking on role of technology in heartcare, Dr. Indranil Dutta, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata said, “The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic came as a surprise to many health experts, who had thought that this form of virus was eliminated. The outbreak started in December last year and cases grew exponentially over the next few months. Chronic heart failure (HF) is a major comorbidity accounting for an increased severity and mortality related to coronavirus. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in HF patients, telemedicine was encouraged then. When the second wave led to a sharp spike in the footfall of patients, it became very challenging for me to keep up with the number of patients and write proper prescriptions for them. This is when I turned to HealthPlix EMR. Features like Video consultations with excellent video quality, automatic SMS alerts to the patients, and prescription forwarding by email have made my life easy. The EMR system also helped me detect early warning signs of heart failure among my patients and provide them with the right diagnosis and adequate medical support.”

It is apparent that hospitals and healthcare institutions will have to invest in newer and better technologies to provide the best treatment to its patients. Covid-19 has shown us how important it is to leverage technology in meeting healthcare challenges. It will allow us as a society to avert or at least decrease the damage at the time of a crisis. Healthcare can be prepared for a digital future with the help of revolutionary technologies and will make it future proof.

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases. It accounts for nearly half of all NCD deaths making it number one killer globally. In India, nearly a quarter (24.8%) of all deaths is due to cardiovascular diseases, according to Global Burden of Disease. The ongoing pandemic has worsened the situation as people are reluctant to go to the hospitals even for their routine check-ups.

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