Sudden cardiac death (SCD) and death from heart failure (HF) remain as the two major challenges in modern cardiology. However, new treatments now emerging offer hope in combating these events: triggers for rhythm disturbances in the heart can be destroyed by heat via ablation therapy, and pacemakers and defibrillators can be implanted to break up deadly fibrillation or ameliorate heart dysfunction. As current diagnostic tools for risk stratification of fatal events are clinically insufficient, the problem facing clinicians is to know when to apply these advanced treatments. The goal of Centre for Cardiological Innovation (CCI) is to produce commercially and clinically driven advances in cardiac diagnostics and applications to solve this problem.
The proposed CCI plans to use these emerging techniques to develop the next generation of cardiac ultrasound equipment, intended to achieve three goals:
- Integrate measurements of cardiac motion and electrical activity into a new integrated 3-dimesnional cardiac scanner system.
- Use integrated patient specific measurements together with advanced mathematical methods and simulation technology to improve diagnostics and create predictive models
- Understand the patient-specific effect of treatment on electromechanical behavior and optimize treatment on the individual level.
Another important research area for CCI will be heart failure and maximized response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. CCI will be focusing on patient selection, cardiac device optimization and how to better implant tools. Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is an effective treatment in severe heart failure patients, and leads to decreased mortality, less hospitalizations and relief of symptoms. But not all CRT patients benefit from therapy. So far echocardiographic indices have failed to increase responder rates in randomized trials. CCI will therefore address several aspects of device treatment in Heart Failure.
In contrast to simply adding a new set of measurement indices to an already impressive list of diagnostic guidelines, or prescribing treatment based on those guidelines, the CCI will instead combine and extend currently isolated technologies into novel, integrated tools and applications. We propose to combine electrical and mechanical information into a new integrated scanning system, which we will then couple with advanced techniques to diagnose pathology and prescribe treatment tailored for the individual patient. This approach is entirely novel, as integration of these modalities combined with the use of patient-specific simulation has never before been achieved. This innovation has the potential to change the paradigm of diagnostic cardiology and will represent a substantial market edge for the industrial partners.