For an individual with newly developed heart failure, the timeline for diagnosis can take as long as 30 months from the initial onset of clinical symptoms.1 That’s over two years during which a patient’s disease continues to progress untreated. Why is the timeline for diagnosis so long? There are several reasons that can impact this timeline….
Unfortunately, clinical symptoms are often missed or overlooked. Many clinicians are overburdened by the abrasion of administrative tasks. As a result, they don’t have adequate time to spend with patients – analysis of EHR data suggests that on average, primary care physicians spend fewer than 20 minutes with patients.
In addition, traditional approaches to diagnostic testing are not as accessible to patients or as reliable as the tools used to diagnose other chronic diseases. Heart failure diagnosis traditionally requires multiple appointments and tests to arrive at a preliminary diagnosis. Cardiac catheterization measuring elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP) is the gold standard to confirm heart failure diagnosis, but it is an invasive process that must be performed in a hospital setting.2-3 Appointments for these procedures can take weeks, if not months, to schedule and patients frequently have to cover costly co-pays.
In lieu of cardiac catheterization, clinicians may order an echocardiogram. However, echocardiograms often face their own set of challenges in aiding in the diagnosis of heart failure. They can be time consuming for clinicians to complete, require trained technicians to perform and do not reliably detect the critical measurement to diagnosis heart failure – elevated LVEDP.4-5
For individuals at risk of heart failure, the current reality is discouraging and the results are poor. Today over 65% of heart failure patients are diagnosed in the ER or inpatient hospital setting.1
Thanks to technology, the first day of heart failure treatment can happen sooner
Technology is ubiquitous in the field of cardiology. It’s possible to track heart arrhythmias using a smart watch. Digital heart health monitoring programs which manage hypertension and hyperlipidemia through wellness and lifestyle tactics are also becoming the norm.
When it comes to heart failure, the gold standard for diagnosis is evaluating LVEDP. When LVEDP is elevated, it indicates heart failure.2-3
Historically, it hasn’t been possible to easily and accurately measure LVEDP in a non-invasive way. That now has changed. New technology has been developed that detects elevated LVEDP quickly, accurately, and non-invasively. This means that the first day of heart failure treatment can happen sooner for patients.
Shorter heart failure diagnosis timelines have multiple benefits for patients, providers and at-risk organizations.
- More accessible, lower-cost diagnosis options. With new portable technology tools, at-risk organizations can enable clinicians to shift diagnosis to any setting – including the outpatient clinic or home healthcare environment. Clinicians and at-risk organizations are empowered to provide cost-effective, early interventions that can improve patient outcomes.
- Fewer health equity gaps for patients. Patients have greater access to care and need fewer costly and time-consuming tests like cardiac catheterizations or echocardiograms.
- Patient-centric care that delivers better outcomes. Innovative technologies designed to improve patient experience and reduce barriers to access for individuals with heart failure enable earlier diagnosis, allowing for proactive care management to be implemented with the goal of healthier days at home.
Ventric Health’s Vivio System™ is the first and only device to non-invasively aid in the diagnosis of heart failure in a clinical or home health care environment evaluating for elevated LVEDP -- the gold standard hemodynamic definition of heart failure. An exam with Vivio takes less than five minutes for a trained clinician to administer, and results are delivered to physicians in real-time. It’s time to change the status quo for heart failure diagnosis and now it’s possible.
- Hayhoe B, Kim D, Aylin PP, Majeed FA, Cowie MR, Bottle A. Adherence to guidelines in management of symptoms suggestive of heart failure in primary care. Heart. 2018;105(9):678-685. doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2018-313971
- Borlaug BA. Evaluation and management of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2020;17:559573.
- McDonagh TA, Metra M, Adamo M, Gardner RS, Baumbach A, Böhm M, Burri H, Butler J, Čelutkienė J and Chioncel O. 2021 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure: Developed by the Task Force for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) With the special contribution of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC. European heart journal. 2021;42:3599-3726.
- Kimura, Bruce J, and Anthony N DeMaria. “Time Requirements of the Standard Echocardiogram: Implications Regarding Limited Studies.” Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, vol. 16, no. 10, Oct. 2003, pp. 1015–1018, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0894-7317(03)00590-x. Accessed 18 Apr. 2022.
- Lancellotti P, Galderisi M, Edvardsen T, et al. Echo-Doppler estimation of left ventricular filling pressure: results of the multicentre EACVI Euro-Filling study. European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging. 2017;18(9):961-968. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ehjci/jex067