You may have already heard that heart disease is the number one killer, claiming hundreds of thousands of American lives every year. But what can you do about it? How is medical science and technology being used to benefit our hearts and decrease these alarming statistics?
Through incredible advancements in technology, doctors are able to diagnose and treat heart disease more effectively than ever.
Non-invasive procedures such as coronary CTAs combined with increased telehealth services allow doctors to provide remote access to specialists’ through the use of telecardiology equipment.
Find out if this heart-saving technology could benefit your medical facility by reading on.
1. Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CCTA)
Coronary refers specifically to the arteries surrounding the heart. Your arteries are the muscular tubes responsible for keeping your circulatory system circulating throughout your body.
The prefix ‘tomo-‘ means section while ‘-graphy’ encompasses the form and how it’s represented. Tomography then uses x-ray technology to take a detailed cross-section of the human body.
An angiogram is a process that aids in the detail and accuracy of the test by injecting dye into your bloodstream through a catheter.
Therefore, a Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram is a procedure combining the use of intravenous dye with x-ray technology to create a 3-D image that maps your moving heart and blood vessels.
Having this procedure will help your doctor identify the levels of blockages within your arteries and any potential calcium buildup.
2. Heart Health and Its Importance
The human heart is an amazing muscular organ, responsible for delivering fresh, oxygenated blood throughout the body. We don’t even have to think about it and our hearts beat up to 100,000 times a day!
Your heart is a beautiful and elegant organ that keeps your body in an oxygen and nutrient-rich environment. Between the perfectly timed electrical signals and its’ muscular ability to perpetually pump our blood, we must be grateful and good to our hearts.
Now, there’s a lot more to it than that and you can find out more here.
As incredible as your heart is, disease of the heart claims as many as 1 in 4 American lives every year, bringing it to 1st place for the leading cause of deaths men and women.
3. Who Should Get a Coronary CT?
The main function of a coronary CT is to check for blocked arteries in your heart. The narrowing of arteries which can lead to blockage is caused by plaque buildup, mainly comprised of fat and cholesterol.
If a patient suffers from chest pains, angina, weakness, or shortness of breath, it is important to they reach out to their doctor with these symptoms to see if a coronary CT is right for them.
Other medical conditions and lifestyle choices could make you a greater candidate for wanting to have your arteries checked:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Inactive lifestyle
- Unhealthy diet
- Congenital heart defects
- Strong family history
4. Will It Hurt?
This procedure is even more amazing because it is non-invasive. A patient can even drive themselves to and from the appointment.
Before the procedure begins, the patient is injected with a dye that enters the bloodstream and help to highlight any blockages as the blood flows through the heart. The patient will also be attached to electrodes that monitor heart rate throughout the exam.
5. What a Coronary CT Will Tell You
After the test has been examined by experts, the patient will be given a coronary calcium score. The plaque that builds up in arteries causes blockages through calcification.
The level of calcification number a patient wants to receive is zero, meaning none at all. The higher the score, the more at risk for various heart diseases you become. Scores in the hundreds may only require diet and lifestyle changes. Scores in the thousands usually mean something more is going on.
As with any health diagnosis, especially involving the heart, it is important to reduce stress, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and talk to a doctor.
6. The Future of Heart Health Monitoring
Since heart diseases know no gender or race and are pervasive in every society, it is important to embrace new technologies such as telecardiology services.
Telecardiology connects patients’ hearts with their doctors faster and more reliably than ever. Having a regular heart scan can provide more efficient solutions to heart disease through quicker diagnosis.
The benefits could not be more pronounced than in rural populations where getting to an emergency hospital can take too long. While critical access hospitals are extremely valuable, they are much smaller, having only essential equipment, and lacking intensive care treatments.
The ability to provide telecardiology equipment to rural areas can help predict and prevent heart disease before it’s too late, or too expensive, or too risky.
Contact us today to learn more about Coronary CTAs and how our telecardiology solutions can benefit your medical facility.