Breakthrough treatments for heart failures bring respite to millions

Americans are fighting their battle against heart disease, which is considered as the nation’s No. 1 killer. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, not all die due to heart attack. Around 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure in which the heart cannot pump blood properly. According to American Heart Association this figure will rise by 46% by 2030.

The reason being, more patients survive heart attacks and face risk of heart failure later, according to Paul Muntner, Ph.D. a professor and vice chair in the epidemiology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Another major cause is the aging of America and this is a chronic condition that worries the elderly. Rising diabetes and obesity also trigger heart problems.

But, advancements in technology and material science have lead to producing effective and cheaper devices for heart failure, which are also customizable as noted by Kenneth Ellenbogen chair of cardiology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

Pacemakers or CRT have been around for a while now. Implantable cardiac defibrillators or ICDs and ventricular assistance devices or VADs are two other devices that help heart patients. Now breakthroughs in sensor and nanotechnology have made CRT and ICDs, much safer and more reliable.

Rami Kahwash, a cardiologist says that since past five years studies have been focused on improving patient care to decrease readmissions by developing a technology where in patients can be monitored before the symptoms actually start. Data reveals if the patient visits the doctor when they are short of breath and other symptoms, its often too late.