The HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis is the first non-invasive diagnostic tool that aids clinicians in determining, vessel by vessel, both the extent of an artery’s narrowing and the impact that the narrowing has on blood flow to the heart.
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Heartflow is able to non-invasively identify which patients do and do not need intervention, clinicians can reduce unnecessary invasive testing, reduce healthcare system costs and improve patient quality of life. The solution has the capacity to transform the way coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated.
Birmingham is one of the most diverse cities in Europe, over half of its population was born abroad. That can result in a real language barrier. But HeartFlow is a tremendous visual aid. Being able to show patients exactly what’s happening in their arteries is so useful. It encourages better engagement with treatment plans and can help explain why more intervention might be needed.
Dr Derek Connolly, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Sandwell & Birmingham City Hospitals
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
The WMAHSN engaged with HeartFlow via the Meridian Innovation Health Exchange and invited the company to the launch event for the NHS Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme while assisting the company to engage with the region’s NHS Trusts via their Membership Innovation Councils (MICs). The AHSN also supported them through the ITP application process and Heartflow is now one of four successful ITP innovations being rolled out nationally.
With increasing interest from hospital Trusts and funding from NHS England through the ITP programme, HeartFlow has begun to expand their UK presence, growing their commercial team including local experts in technology, information governance, economics, and commercial development.
Impact & Outcomes
A clinical utility study, PLATFORM, including hospital Trusts in England, looked at the clinical and economic impact of HeartFlow. Incorporating HeartFlow into clinical care resulted in an 83% reduction in angiographies for patients without obstructive disease and a 26% reduction in costs of care. Patients where the invasive angiography was cancelled were followed for 12 months and there were no adverse events. Patients without disease were able to return home safely, while those in need of care were accurately identified and treated.
Today HeartFlow adoption is increasing and real-world data is emerging. The first NHS real-world experience was presented at the British Society of Cardiovascular CT in 2019. The data confirmed findings from the PLATFORM study and demonstrated even greater clinical efficiencies.
In 2017 NICE produced impact reports and favourable recommendations on HeartFlow: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/mtg32. NICE concluded:
“Based on the current evidence and assuming there is access to appropriate CCTA facilities, using HeartFlow FFRCT may lead to cost savings of £214 per patient. By adopting this technology, the NHS in England may save a minimum of £9.1 million by 2022 through avoiding invasive investigation and treatment.”
52 NHS hospitals in England are now using HeartFlow, marking a seven-fold increase since the AHSNs started supporting its rollout through the ITP, and over 10,000 individual scans have been completed in this time. 46% of eligible trusts adopted HeartFlow in the last 12 months.