The Current State of Cardiology

There are three major drivers of innovation in cardiology. The first is the development of new implantable devices, and expanded indications for devices already on the market.

Second, new developments in cardiac imaging are producing ever more detailed data in a less-invasive fashion.

Finally, the move to enterprise imaging is helping connect the cardiology department internally — invasive and non-invasive, surgery and cath lab — and externally to the rest of the health system.

These three drivers are creating new workflows, changing the way cardiologists interact with other departments and with patients. They are also creating new care models that fit the patient’s health journey more closely.

A more connected cardiology department, with a more complete knowledge of the patient’s medical history and more non-invasive options for care, can be a powerful force to drive better patient outcomes.

The challenges facing cardiologists now are to re-imagine workflows to be the most effective in a more collaborative health system, and to evaluate new technologies for best use cases that deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time.

The ongoing evolution of cardiology means an ongoing discussion around use cases and best practices. This discussion is not without its share of differing opinions. However, the future of cardiology relies on asking tough questions, daring to disagree, and establishing new models of care.

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Cardiology Imaging News and Trends

With every new breakthrough in cardiology, there are two stages of the news breaking: First, there is excitement as the innovation itself is introduced; be it new technology or promising results from a study. Then comes the analysis: Is this innovation really necessary for patient care? Will it be as useful in a clinical setting as it was in the trial? Is it more effective than the solutions we already have? How does this make me more effective? How does it improve care?

These questions are vital for cardiologists to ask and have answered. Pushing health care into the future depends on questioning the status quo, welcoming but thoroughly vetting new findings, and always keeping the patient in mind.

The articles in this section are devoted to chronicling the ongoing conversation — both with reports on new developments and with the analysis that comes after the initial rush of enthusiasm. Use this section to keep current with the trends affecting the industry now and to get a glimpse of what lies just over the horizon.

Cardiology Imaging Workflow

The evolution of cardiac care is bringing more patients out of invasive care and into the cath lab. Most data used to be generated in surgery; now the flow of data comes from all areas of cardiac care. With this shift in modality comes the need for interoperable, communicative systems that can make data available throughout the department without relying on manual data entry and tracking.

Cardiology departments are beginning to seek the benefits of a single-database solution — a CVIS (cardiovascular information system) — capable of consolidating data and automatically tracking the course of care.

With patient tracking and data capture automated, cardiology departments can use intelligent software to streamline workflows. The CVIS keeps track of where patients are in the system, and can allocate resources throughout the department for maximum efficiency and quality of care.

Cardiology imaging workflows are becoming less linear and more dynamic as the location of data capture and quality and quantity of data continue to expand. Increasingly, health systems are looking to intelligent workflow solutions to manage care within departments and coordinate care across the health system.

Advancements in Cardiology Imaging

The past few years have seen massive advancements in cardiology imaging. Some rely on novel methods of using existing imaging technology, such as reversing the order of scans in CCTA to drastically reduce the time it takes to scan.

Some advancements come from wholly new types of imaging, such as building virtual, 3-dimensional heart models to search for early signs of disease.

Still other innovations come from using data in new ways, such as crowdsourcing breakthroughs in machine learning for diagnosis, and mining patient data to extrapolate actionable intelligence.

Finally, the use of new implantables hint at changes in imaging to come, such as self-implantable devices that don’t require high-stress, time-sensitive scanning.

Each new innovation holds promise to shape the future of cardiology imaging — a future in which cardiologists can leverage not just a single patient’s data, but insights from hundreds of patients — to inform diagnoses and create more effective treatment plans.

These articles will help keep you current on the emerging advancements in imaging, as well as provide context and commentary relevant to the larger conversation in the industry.