The U.K.’s National Institute for Health & Care Excellence issued final guidance on HeartFlow‘s FFRct technology, which uses algorithms to generate 3D models of blood flows and can help diagnose heart disease.
The British agency recommended the use of FFRct for patients with stable, recent-onset chest pain, finding that the technology is safe, has a high level of diagnostic accuracy and may avoid the need for invasive coronary angiography. Compared to all other tests, FFRct could save the U.K.’s National Health Service roughly £214 ($267) per patient by avoiding unneeded tests and treatment, HeartFlow said today.
“The NICE guidance reinforces the value of the HeartFlow analysis and affirms this technology can improve the way coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated,” chairman & CEO Dr. John Stevens said in prepared remarks. “We appreciate NICE’s thorough review of HeartFlow’s technology and believe their detailed assessment will be a valuable resource for providers and payers seeking to improve patient care.”
“The HeartFlow FFRct analysis provides a definitive understanding of both the anatomical and functional findings, without any additional testing or risk for patients,” added Dr. Joseph Mills of the Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital. “Application of the HeartFlow FFRct analysis is likely to transform the quality of care we can provide for patients, ensuring the most accurate diagnosis and the best treatment plan, as well reducing the need for invasive coronary angiography – a procedure not without its risks.”
NICE last August released initial guidance supporting Redwood City, Calif.-based HeartFlow’s FFRct, which works by taking the data from a standard CT scan and applying algorithms that result in a color-coded 3D “map” detailing the changes in flow across coronary lesions. The agency recommended last November that non-invasive coronary CT angiography as the front-line test for patients with stable chest pain; the latest guidance recommends FFRct as the most cost-effective option for additional testing.
In June, HeartFlow said it launched a new version of its FFRct cardiac imaging platform. The new iteration improves the FFRct algorithms and streamlines case processing, incorporates Amazon Web Services for its cloud-based infrastructure and upgrades the software’s security, the company said.
In November 2016, HeartFlow won approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare for the FFRct technology.
($1 = £0.800215)