3D heart scans introduced on the NHS

The NHS is rolling out revolutionary technology to diagnose and treat around 100,000 patients with suspected heart disease, five times faster than normal.

The latest innovation, known as HeartFlow, turns a regular CT scan of the heart into a 3D image allowing doctors to diagnose life-threating coronary heart disease in just 20 minutes. This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan goal to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by 150,000.

Previously patients would have to go in hospital for an invasive and time-consuming angiogram. Patients will now be seen, diagnosed, and treated, around five times quicker, offering more convenient care and helping hardworking NHS Staff to get services back on track after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Once patients are diagnosed using the 3D image treatments include surgery, medication or having a stent fitted. For less serious cases patients will be given tips on healthy lifestyle changes or cholesterol-lowering medication – meaning the risk is quickly resolved before it becomes life-threatening.

Approximately 100,000 people are eligible to use HeartFlow over the next three years, with more than 35,000 people set to benefit each year.

Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “The NHS Long Term Plan committed to cutting strokes, heart attacks and other major killers as well as ensuring patients would benefit from cutting edge therapies and techniques and HeartFlow is just the latest example of that.

“By rapidly improving the rate we diagnose and treat those with a heart condition we will save thousands of lives and ensure as well as delivering the most successful vaccination programme in health service history, the NHS is able to deliver routine services even quicker than before the pandemic.”

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