GE Healthcare and HeartFlow, Inc. announced today at SCCT2017, the annual scientific meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, that they have entered into a global collaboration agreement with the goal of increasing the clinical availability and adoption of HeartFlow FFRct, a proprietary technology that helps clinicians diagnose and treat patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). The collaboration will involve computed tomography (CT) scanners from GE Healthcare with HeartFlow® FFRct, the first and only non-invasive technology that provides insight into both the extent of CAD and the impact of the disease on blood flow to the heart. HeartFlow FFRct is designed to enable clinicians to select a definitive, personalized treatment plan for each patient and reduce the need for additional invasive testing. The agreement will initially focus on the United States, with plans to expand into other markets in the future.
CAD, which affects 16.8 million people in the United States, [i] develops when the coronary arteries narrow, reducing blood flow to the heart and causing angina (chest pain), myocardial infarction (heart attack) and death.
“GE has collaborated with HeartFlow over the last five years, and this agreement reinforces our joint commitment to patients worldwide,” said Scott Schubert, general manager, Global Premium CT, GE Healthcare. “Along with our industry-leading cardiac CT systems and clinical applications, GE can now offer HeartFlow FFRct as an option for healthcare providers who strive to deliver the highest standards in clinical care while reducing costs.”
“This agreement with GE will help bring our game-changing non-invasive technology into the mainstream of cardiac care at thousands of hospitals that are already using state-of-the-art CT systems from GE, which provide exceptional image quality,” said John H. Stevens, M.D., president and chief executive officer of HeartFlow. “By collaborating, we can ensure that HeartFlow FFRct can be easily integrated into existing CAD protocols and more readily transform the care of patients with suspected and potentially life-threatening CAD.”
Diagnosing CAD Definitively and Non-Invasively with GE and HeartFlow
Clinicians diagnosing a patient with suspected CAD want to know as definitively as possible if the patient has a significant blockage in their coronary arteries and the impact of that blockage on blood flow to best determine which treatment pathway is appropriate (e.g., medical management, stenting or coronary artery bypass graft).
With HeartFlow FFRct, data from a patient’s non-invasive coronary CT angiogram are securely uploaded from the hospital’s system to the cloud. Then, HeartFlow leverages deep learning to create a personalized, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries and uses powerful computer algorithms to solve millions of complex equations to simulate blood flow in the model and assess the impact of blockages on coronary blood flow. The results are provided to the patient’s clinician via a secure web interface to offer actionable information on the optimal course of treatment.
GE brings to the collaboration its leading portfolio of cardiac CT solutions, including:
• The Revolution™ family of CT scanners, with innovations including One-Beat Cardiac, SnapShot Freeze intelligent motion correction, and High Definition (HD) imaging with the industry’s highest cardiac spatial resolution;
• CardioGraphe™, the world’s first dedicated cardiovascular CT system, a whole-heart coverage CT system that is affordable and accessible; and
• AW advanced clinical applications including CardIQ, VesselIQ and TAVI planning to enhance physician diagnostic accuracy and productivity.
Together, the combination of GE and HeartFlow technologies promises to become an important way to assist in diagnosing CAD and guiding appropriate treatment. This combination also could help reduce unnecessary and invasive diagnostic coronary angiography procedures, which can be associated with serious complications, such as bleeding, stroke and major blood vessel damage.[ii]
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
About HeartFlow, Inc.
HeartFlow, Inc. (heartflow.com) is transforming the way cardiovascular disease is diagnosed and treated. The company’s HeartFlow FFRct is the first available non-invasive solution that enables a physician to more accurately evaluate whether a patient has significant coronary artery disease (CAD) based on both anatomy and physiology. HeartFlow FFRct, which leverages deep learning to create a personalized 3D model of the patient’s arteries, is well positioned to become an integral part of the standard of care for patients who are at risk for CAD because of its potential to improve both clinical outcomes and the patient experience while reducing the cost of care. HeartFlow FFRct is commercially available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
[ii] Douglas PS, DeBruyne B, Pontone G., Patel MR, et al. One-year outcomes of FFRCT-guided care in patients with suspected coronary disease: The PLATFORM Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;68(5), 435-45.