New IT tools can predict at-risk heart patients

Two new IT tools are poised to help doctors predict at-risk heart patients, as reported in two studies published recently in the journals HeartRhythm and the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. Both studies come on the heels of Humedica's January news that predictive modeling technology it created could help hospitals improve care and lower costs by identifying high-risk congestive heart failure patients prior to hospital admission.

The HeartRhythm study found that Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA), developed by Cambridge Heart, to be a "powerful predictor" of patients at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD). The study examined more than 2,800 patients who underwent MTWA testing, in which a positive result indicated a high risk of SCD. Researchers found patients with a positive result to be nine times more likely to experience SCD than those with a negative result.

"These findings may have important implications for refining primary prevention ICD treatment algorithms," Antonis Armoundas, the study's senior author, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the second study aimed to combine two separate measurement systems for evaluating cardiovascular risks of individuals--the Framingham method and SCORE risk charts--into one. The study, which consisted of a subgroup of 50 patients who were treated at the Endocrinology Service of Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada, concluded the effectiveness of a computer tool combining both methods into one.

To learn more:
- here's the HeartRhythm abstract
- check out the JECP abstract
- read the Cambridge Heart announcement

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