About The Project
The goal of the SmartHeart research programme is to develop a radically new approach for how cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed, monitored and treated. We plan to develop a “smart” Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanner that is not only an imaging device, but can also interpret the information collected and act as a diagnostic and early warning tool for cardiovascular disease.
Currently cardiovascular diseases (CVD) cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK (155,000 deaths per annum). The cost to the UK of premature death, lost productivity, hospital treatment and prescriptions relating to CVD is estimated at £19 billion each year, with healthcare costs alone totalling an estimated £8 billion (source: BHF).
The current gold standard for diagnosis of CVD is to use an angiogram, which is both costly and invasive. This type of testing is increasingly being replaced by cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and although this is not invasive, it is still inefficient for patients and doctors as the test can be time-consuming, and sick patients find it difficult to perform breath-holds to mitigate movement of the heart. There are then further waits for the clinician to analyse and interpret the findings.
SmartHeart aims to overcome these difficulties associated with diagnosing CVD using cardiac MRI: by developing an integrated approach for the acquisition, interpretation and analysis of cardiac MRI images, SmartHeart will provide clinicians with accurate and objective information – more efficiently – to aid the diagnosis and prognosis of CVD.