The end of the year is always a good time to summarize what we have achieved for this period and what our plans are for the future. Overall, 2022 was a very exciting and eventful year for Cardio-HART. New contacts, new business collaborations, and many trips proved to us that Cardio-HART was invented at the right time and that the need for it has increased manifold, especially after COVID-19.
We all know how important prevention is, and Cardio-HART can not only help detect cardiovascular diseases at an early stage but can also give a more accurate picture of the severity of the disease.
We asked our team several questions about how they perceive the year 2022 and whether they are satisfied with the results achieved. The interview was given to us by part of the Marketing and Communications team Bojan Milić and Alberto Baca, and Marc Bisnaire, CEO and founder, shared a few words with us.
Bojan, do you think 2022 was a successful year for CHART?
Bojan: Yes. We were able to implement CHART technology in a few locations in the UK to evaluate it in a real-world situation. We made valuable contacts, such as with Dr. Pegah Salahshouri (a consultant cardiologist at West Suffolk Hospital and Papworth Hospital), so West Suffolk could be our big market in the future if all goes well. We were also invited by the AHSN to exhibit the product at the well-known HETT show. So overall, it was a very positive year for CHART technology.
How important was it to you to exhibit at the HETT show 2022?
Bojan: It was very important. We had the opportunity to showcase the technology at such a big show where everyone in the health technology world was present. We managed to create good contacts for the future so the HETT show certainly brought more attention and more eyeballs to CHART.
Is the NHS ready to implement CHART technology on a much bigger scale?
Bojan: I think so, yes. In its Long Term Plan (2019), the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) identified the cardiovascular disease as the single biggest condition where lives can be saved by preventing 150,000 heart attacks over 10 years. This could be realized by improving the early detection and treatment of CVD and supporting people with heart failure (HF) and heart valve disease. Early detection is what CHART does best and can certainly help the NHS with its long-term plan. It is simply a matter of recognizing that it has that potential.
Alberto has the best communication with doctors and other medical experts from Spain. What is the situation in Spain?
Alberto: The impact of cardiovascular disease in Spain is high same as in other countries in Europe and around the world. In 2019, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Spain affected 9.8% of the population, 52.6% of women, and 47.4% of men. In the same year, the EU accounted for more than 2 million deaths as a consequence of CVD whereas, in Spain, they were the leading cause of death, accounting for 27.9% of the total. Definitely, that’s an alarming rate, and year after year the incidence is rising, therefore, action needs to be taken in order to reduce the numbers and most importantly to help improve the lives of millions of patients.
Recently this year in Spain it was approved the Cardiovascular Strategy for the Ministry of Health called ESCAV or Estrategia en Salud Cardiovascular del Sistema Nacional de Salud which has a series of backbone axes with specific areas of action included early detection and prevention with its application to specific conditions and pathologies that require specific actions such as Ischemic heart disease, Heart failure, arrhythmias, valve diseases.
As such and after having the opportunity to meet with different physicians online and in-person from the different Autonomous Communities in Spain (Extremadura, País Vasco, Valencia, Islas Baleares, Murcia) Cardio-HART has shown and proven that it can be the key support for this strategy and for the individual objectives of each region due to its diagnostic capabilities to detect Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, valve diseases, Ischemia and other diseases such as Atrial Fibrillation, Pulmonary Hypertension, etc.
I see Cardio-HART in Spain as the ideal support for their cardiovascular strategies because it will help them to promote health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the Spanish resident population.
It will help to improve the detection and early diagnosis of heart failure.
It will help them to organize HF care through multidisciplinary HF units/programs, coordinated with the participation of all professionals involved at all levels of care.
It will help to promote early diagnosis of prevalent valve diseases and most importantly to reduce the prevalence and/or incidence of related pathologies and to achieve the highest possible level of health in patients.
How do medical professionals react to Cardio-HART and what its data report can provide them?
Alberto: I can say confidently that the physicians who have seen Cardio-HART in action are very surprised at how fast and accurately they can identify a cardiac condition. The feedback I have received has been positive and a couple of regions are already testing it.
What they like the most is how in a matter of 10 minutes they can confidently detect HF which is one of the most prevalent conditions in Spain together with the Ejection Fraction of the patient. That is already a big difference but what most surprises them is how in Primary Care they can now detect 14 diseases that are normally detected by echocardiography and how easy is to understand the overall cardiac status of the patient due to CHARTs decision tree that even an ECG nurse can perform the test with confidence and how fast they can make a decision from referring to a Cardiologist or to remain in Primary Care. For them it means that the earlier, the faster, and the better CVD is detected they can reduce wait times, prioritize effectively and improve the continuity and quality of care.
Another interesting fact from my visits to Spain was that I had the opportunity to talk with the Regional Market Access Manager and Patient Advocacy and Engagement Manager of a very well-known Pharmaceutical company who deeply understood the benefit of our solution. They understood the importance of detecting the early onset of the disease as the earlier is detected the sooner the patients can start effective and specific therapies to improve their quality of life and the broader the diseases are detected the more can be done for the Spaniards.
As said and shared by one of the Drs. In the UK, with timely detection of CVD, it is possible to initiate timely and specific treatments/therapies such as (SGLT2, β-blockers) to reduce mortality and hospitalizations.
During your visit to Spain, you also tested the patients of some hospitals. What are the patient impressions and technical staff who used CHART for the first time?
Alberto: Yes, I had the opportunity to test patients in a couple of regions and the impression they felt was that Cardio-HART was a very fast and not a complex test considering all that it can do. They were really surprised at how much information they could see in the report and how easy for them is to comprehend their cardiac status thanks to our General Heart Health State chart.
Some of the comments I heard from the nurses who tested and had never seen the technology before including my last visit to País Vasco was that it will be an ideal device for implementation in primary care as Cardio-HART is as easy to operate as an ECG and how much information they were receiving with the 4 additional PCG and MCG sensors. The nurse I had the opportunity to work with in Pais Vasco told me this will bring so much benefit for their patients and for them as medical teams since it is very easy to use, understand, and implement which will help to enhance the continuity of care as a key element for quality, efficient and safe CVD care.
Marc, how would you describe CHART in 2022? Did you complete all the goals for this year?
Marc: We started the year with parts shortages for the foreseeable future. We had to adapt our strategy from a sales-oriented one, with no stock of devices to sell, to one of greater awareness through testing. With the devices at hand, however, we were very successful in demonstrating the CHART device, with the main focus on UK and Spain. Our new testing campaign with users is proving very beneficial and is generating great interest.
What do you think is the strength of Cardio-HART?
Marc: Every day I am a greater believer in CHART, increasingly amazed at its capabilities. It's the simplicity of the investigation, that drives the wow factor! Simplicity because at its root, there is no need for a specialist to conduct a CHART investigation, but also no specialist reporting is required. And yet, it can detect a wide range of CVD including heart failure and valve diseases – this makes CHART very useful in a general way, and therefore more readily accessible, with more immediate results. One clever strategy is that the CHART investigation is very similar to if not the same ECG, which takes 5-7 minutes to do, and CHART 7-10 minutes – but with Echo findings included. Very powerful!
What is your favorite reaction from medical professionals when they get more information about CHART?
Marc: This past summer, we received a very concerning message from one of the hospitals trialing CHART saying that the results between CHART and ECHO were hugely different and as a result, they were having doubts. We investigated and presented our case. They went back and redid the Echo. Shockingly, CHART proved Echo wrong! The reaction was total amazement. In the following weeks, two other such incidents arose, where CHART was right and Echo the wrong foundation.
The results stem from the dual ECG/ECHO nature of CHART which is able to identify certain conditions that individually ECG or ECHO individually could not. It makes a great combined device able to detect/diagnose a wide range of cardiac conditions, which is very useful in patient care settings, especially as specialist services are not required. They now approach Echo with a healthier dose of caution. But let’s be clear, CHART is not a replacement for Echo, they both have their purposes that complement each other.
What are the plans for Cardio-HART in 2023?
Marc: Going forward, we will focus on creating trust in CHART through ongoing local testing. This focus will be geographically limited to UK, Spain, and Portugal, with some notice of Italy and Denmark. Although the chips crisis continues, we will output about 200 units this next year through creating sourcing and redesign. Our regulatory pathway will take us through MDR, and EU compliance. Internationally, we are targeting Pakistan.
We can conclude that Cardio Phoenix had a successful year in 2022, and expectations for 2023 remain high. We have an amazing team, who are passionate about CHART and its mission, making sure everyone who could benefit should get access to CHART.
"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better."
Maya Angelou, American poet, and civil rights activist
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