Since it was founded in 1949, the American College of Cardiology has been committed to educating practicing cardiologists, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge among clinicians in the field. This year’s ACC.16, the college’s 65th annual scientific session and expo, was an excellent example of that commitment in action. Over the course of three days, cardiologists and representatives from health care systems shared the results of clinical studies, explored the cutting edge of cardiology technology, and looked at the trends that will shape the future.
Here are the three big takeaways from our time as attendees at this year’s expo.
1. Appropriate Use Criteria Continues to Evolve for Statins
There has been a quiet controversy brewing over the recommended use cases for statins. The clinical trials reviewed at ACC.16 added much-needed data to the conversation. A trial involving Crestor v. Placebo found a significant reduction in risk in patients with high blood pressure, but no significant benefit unless blood pressure was elevated.
Studies also showed that of patients who had a history of statin intolerance, 25% were intolerant of a placebo (the “nocebo” effect), 25% were intolerant of the statin, but 50% could tolerate the statin. This study continues to fuel speculation on whether or not statin intolerance is a physiological condition.
Taken as a whole, both studies indicate a wider possible range of patients for whom statin treatment is an option, though the debate over when statins are indicated continues to develop.
2. Second-Generation TAVR Valves Herald a New Breed of Cardiovascular Surgery
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) has proven to be a useful procedure for patients who are considered high-risk for traditional open-chest surgery. The second generation of TAVR valves show promising results versus surgery in high-risk patients, with mortality risks and the risk of perivalvular leaks both improved over the first generation.
Now TAVR is proving to be a promising option for intermediate-risk patients as well. As TAVR continues to improve, the procedure could be recommended versus surgery for even lower-risk patients. That means the cath lab will play a bigger role in cardiology than ever before.
3. Data Management Is Crucial as Pathways of Care Multiply
The evolving Appropriate Use Criteria for drug therapy and the expanding use of interventional therapies like TAVR both point at a future in which image and data management is ever more vital to patient well-being. With drug therapy, the bulk of data could be found in the EHR, whereas interventional therapy leads to most of the data being produced in the cath lab rather than in surgery.
The proliferation of data streams will mean that hybrid suites capable of aggregating multiple data sources could be essential tools for imaging clinicians and cardiologists alike. A centralized solution that can manage multiple cardiology workflows will be a powerful ally for improving patient outcomes.
McKesson is dedicated to providing cardiology workflow solutions now and in the future. Missed us at ACC.16? You can see us at HRS, booth 917, on May 4-7 in San Francisco or at ASE, booth 331, on June 10-14 in Seattle. Schedule a demo today.