Emerging technologies and the future of cardiovascular diseases management

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the first cause of death worldwide.

  • An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.
  • Over three-quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable diseases in 2019, 38% were caused by CVDs.
  • Among the general US population, all four cardiovascular risk factors are expected to increase from 2025 to 2060, with the largest percentage increase in diabetes (39.3% increase to 55 million persons), followed by dyslipidaemia (27.6% to 126 million), hypertension (25.1% to 162 million) and obesity (18.3% to 126 million). The researchers found that stroke (33.8% to 15 million) and heart failure (33.4% to 13 million) were the highest projected increases in rates of cardiovascular diseases, followed by ischaemic heart disease (30.7% to 29 million) and heart attack (16.9% to 16 million)


(Mohebi R, Chen C, Ibrahim N, et al. Cardiovascular Disease Projections in the United States Based on the 2020 Census Estimates. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Aug, 80 (6) 565–578.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2022.05.033)

  • Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, especially behavioral risk factors:
  1. tobacco use,
  2. unhealthy diet and obesity,
  3. physical inactivity
  4. alcohol.
  • It is crucial to detect cardiovascular diseases as early as possible so that management with counseling and medicines can begin. Screening for cardiovascular diseases and early diagnosis are the primary tool for accurate and efficient management.
  • Emerging technologies can play a crucial role in the management of CVD by offering tools for:

-early and accurate diagnosis

-personalized treatment

-close and easy follow-up for both patients and healthcare professionals.


Healthtech Startups working on the improvement of cardiovascular diseases management:

  • Recently, Certific and PocDoc, two heathtech startups, teamed up to tackle cardiovascular diseases
  • The partnership will allow patients to remotely monitor blood pressure, BMI, and quantitative lipid levels through the same user experience. This solution will be rolled out through several pilots, in conjunction with the NHS, across the UK, and eventually across Europe and globally.
  • PocDoc is an NHS Digital Health Accelerator-backed healthtech company that recently announced its first in-house test for the 5-marker lipid panel. Backed by investors including MMC Ventures, Forward Partners, and the founder of healthtech unicorn Ada Health, PocDoc won the MedTech Breakthrough Award 2022 and has also won multiple Innovate UK awards.
  • Certific was created by the co-founder of Wise Taavet Hinrikus, alongside Liis Narusk and Dr Jack Kreindler, and recently raised €7.4 million of investment to advance remote medical diagnostics, support product expansion and entry into new markets and has served over 150,000 patients so far. Certific recently partnered with Zapp, the on-demand 24/7 convenience delivery app, enabling customers to order testing kits for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening and delivering fast results in an industry-first collaboration.
  • Certific’s platform is test-agnostic and can be used for multiple point-of-care tests, including swabs, blood, and urine tests.
  • Steve Roest, CEO of PocDoc, said:

“We are delighted to announce PocDoc’s partnership with Certific – they are a real digital disruptor in healthcare that we admire and have followed their success closely. They bring a wealth of experience, and our combined knowledge will empower patients to improve their heart health, helping prevent future heart attacks or strokes through home-based digital solutions.’’

  • Liis Narusk, co-founder & CEO of Certific, added:

“This collaboration is a strong step forward in Certific’s mission of providing pioneering and scalable technology that enables self-testing for multiple conditions, radically improving the cost and convenience for patients and healthcare providers alike. Adding PocDoc’s expertise in cardiovascular screening enables Certific to expand its portfolio of certified medical diagnostics and tackle a disease that is the leading cause of disability and death in the UK and around the world.’’



Five emerging technologies changing the management of cardiovascular diseases:

“ Cardiac care has witnessed a significant transformation over the last decade. With Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) playing an important role, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are bringing unprecedented revolutions in cardiac treatment mechanisms. These technological advancements are facilitating early detection and treatment of critically ill patients thus, improving outcomes.

Let us delve into the work-in-progress technologies that can change the meaning of cardiac care.

  1. Personalized heart models

Have you ever heard of patient-specific 3D models of the heart that can aid a doctor in understanding the nature of heart disease? Scientists at University College London have developed such 3D-printed models from MRI scans of children born with heart defects (congenital heart diseases). These models can also boost patients’ and their families’ understanding of the heart condition. The same team is also working to produce computer simulations, to help a surgeon planning surgery for such children. This personalized approach in cardiac care will help surgeons and patients decide on the best treatment modalities.

  1. Skin patch to counterstroke

A simple skin patch may help improve stroke victims’ survival chances.

Unbelievable but true. Researchers at the University of Nottingham are working on a skin patch that can be applied in an ambulance immediately after a patient suffers a suspected stroke attack. This patch, which delivers the drug glyceryl trinitrate, can widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the potential damage caused by stroke.

Starting treatment within an hour of stroke could revolutionize stroke care. Treating patients inside the ambulances on the way to the hospital will save vital time and aid recovery.

Scientists are hoping, if this patch is safe to use, it can be used by paramedics in the ambulance also or in places where conventional treatment facilities are not available.

  1. Implantable heart-rhythm monitors

Most heart failure patients may experience an irregularity in heart rhythm. It can be too slow, too fast, or irregular. Presently we are using ECG recording to trace an irregularity in heart rhythm. ECG can give you a picture of that moment only. What if a doctor wants to track rhythm over a longer period to have a better understanding of the patient’s health?

Researchers are working on implantable cardiac monitors. These are tiny devices that can be implanted under the skin for recording heart rhythm.

  1. Nanomaterials for fighting cholesterol

We all know fatty deposits in blood vessels are one of the most common causes of various cardiovascular diseases. Though statins can help to lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood, they can affect other tissues like muscles making some people intolerant to statins.

Scientists are working on nanomaterials. These nanomaterials can deliver cholesterol-lowering drugs exactly to the sites where they are needed most. Nanomaterials are incredibly small but have very high stability. They biodegrade on their own once the drugs have been delivered to specific sites.

  1. Use of Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to interpret heart condition

Artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine to solve those complex problems that would otherwise require human intervention. Technology advancements have made it possible for machines to accurately and quickly analyze large amounts of data. This learning improves decision-making, accurate diagnosis, and treatment planning by detecting specific patterns in patient data.

Cardiovascular doctors and scientists are now combining artificial intelligence with clinical practice for better care. Here are two examples of how doctors are using AI for better outcomes.

  1. For people with stroke – the computer trained to analyze CT data, can examine the scan, diagnose the stroke, and thus saving valuable time.
  2. Preventing heart problems – Applying AI to ECGs can be used to detect any abnormality in the heart pump, which, if left untreated, can lead to heart failure.

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