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A new tool in diagnosing cardiac arrhythmia

Jun 21. 2017
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By The Nation

Bumrungrad International Hospital has announced the launch of “CardioInsight” – an innovative new noninvasive technology for the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia – making it the first hospital in Asia, to implement this technology.

The use of CardioInsight will help steer Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Arrhythmia Centre toward its goal of being a leading hub for cardiac arrhythmia research and treatment, fully equipped with the latest technology and staffed by a team of world-class, highly experienced specialists.

Dr Koonlawee Nademanee, director of the Pacific Rim Electrophysiology Research Institute in Los Angeles, and Cardiothoracic Physiologist at the Arrhythmia Center, Bumrungrad International, says that the CardioInsight is a promising new non-invasive ECG based technology to identify the mechanism and origin of a cardiac arrhythmia.

Bumrungrad is the one of the first three hospitals worldwide to have implemented this technology, the other two being the University Hospital of Bordeaux and Hammersmith Hospital in the UK.

CardioInsight’s founding and leadership team, Charu Ramanathan and Ryan Bokan turned out at the recent press conference at the Bumrungrad International Hospital and explained that the technology offered a unique and world-class opportunity to help patients as well as perform transformational research in the treatment of difficult cardiac arrhythmias. The collaboration has started off at a strong pace under the leadership of Dr Koonlawee, a world expert in the treatment of these complex arrhythmias, with 50 patients treated already. The CardioInsight team was confident that the outcome of the Bumrungrad collaboration will have a major impact in the understanding and treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, and be able to build a new foundation of knowledge in this field for the worldwide medical community.

Cardiac arrhythmia is considered a “silent danger” which can cause permanent damage to the heart – or even lead to death. Symptoms may only occur intermittently, but some people may have some observable symptoms, such as light-headedness, fainting, palpitations, shortness of breath, feeling tight-chested, and loss of consciousness.

Many patients may not present any symptoms while visiting the doctor for a diagnosis, and therefore, do not receive treatment. Thus, the ability to pinpoint the cause of an abnormality with a precise diagnosis is even more important, as is the ability to deliver accurate and effective treatments. All of these factors rely on the experience of the physicians, together with the modern technology at their disposal.

The CardioInsight system uses a vest embedded with electrodes which detect electrical signals from the heart at 252 points across the chest. This system combines the data with heart anatomy from a CT scan and produces patient-specific 3D images of the electrical rhythm of the heart for each heartbeat and where the abnormalities are occurring.

The most important aspect of CardioInsight is that it is completely non-invasive and no tools or equipment are required to be inserted into a patient’s body, and the results also supplement invasive procedures, such as heart surgery, making it easier to reach specific points. 

Dr Koonlawee says that in addition to the effective treatment technologies available today, another success factor in arrhythmia treatment relies on the equally high level of experience of the physicians and specialist teams. “This tool helps us to learn more, and understand the disease more, both of which allow us to give patients the best diagnoses and the most suitable treatments.”

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