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NHS England mandates use of AI tool to fight coronary heart disease

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HeartFlow will help the NHS adopt its AI tools

NHS England has mandated that hospitals adopt an AI powered tool to help fight coronary heart disease.

HeartFlow Analysis has been selected as one of the innovations supported by NHS England’s new MedTech funding mandate.

The mandate, which will begin on 1 April 2021, aims to provide innovative medical devices and digital products to NHS England patients faster. The mandate includes the option to extend funding for up to an additional three years through 31 March 2024.

The news comes as HeartFlow announced that it has also received extended funding through NHSE’s Innovation and Technology Payment Programme (ITP) for a third year. The programme seeks to accelerate the uptake of innovations in the health service by removing financial barriers, with funding available until 31 March 2021.

HeartFlow Analysis takes data from a coronary CT angiography (CTA) scan and uses deep learning technology and highly trained analysts to create a personalised, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. Its algorithms solve millions of equations to simulate blood flow in a patient’s arteries to help clinicians assess the functional impact of any blockages.

The tool aims to limit redundant non-invasive diagnostic testing, reduce patient time in hospital and face-to-face clinical contact, and help ensure that hospital visits for those who do need them are streamlined.

Dr Timothy Fairbairn, consultant cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, said: “The MedTech funding mandate allowed us to have a positive conversation with our commissioners, emphasising the real benefits our practice has experienced and secure funding for continued use of the HeartFlow Analysis going forward.

“The MedTech funding mandate and funding commitment from commissioners means NHS hospitals will be able to continue to offer the best available technologies in our approach to the diagnosis and management of CHD for patients.”

HeartFlow’s technology is already used in 60 NHS England hospitals. The extension of the ITP and introduction of the MedTech funding mandate aims to allow hospitals to continue providing cutting-edge care to patients and accelerate adoption of the technology in hospitals throughout the country.

Lance Scott, chief commercial officer at HeartFlow, added: “The HeartFlow Analysis is already available in a number of English hospitals, and today’s announcement, coupled with the immediate funding unlocked through the ITP programme, means we can rapidly scale and ensure more clinicians across England have access to the HeartFlow Analysis to non-invasively diagnose CHD and formulate treatment plans for their patients.”

“Since 2018, we’ve processed more than 15,000 HeartFlow Analyses for NHSE patients, helping cardiology services prioritise invasive treatments for those who need it most. This has also contributed to a better patient experience, reducing unnecessary procedures and the time to diagnosis.

“Many patients can also receive a diagnosis and treatment plan after just one trip to the hospital, helping to reduce risks and face-to-face contact time during the ongoing pandemic.”

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  1. Pingback: Heart patients use new tech to reduce hospital admissions - Health Tech World

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