Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today released global market research that demonstrates challenges associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
From the company’s Beyond Intervention multi-year global research program, the latest research identified inconsistencies in patient care delivery, access to technology that supports accurate diagnosis and issues of health equity resulting in inadequate care for underserved communities as major barriers in managing cardiovascular disease.
According to a news release, the findings also underscore major discrepancies in how patients and healthcare providers perceive the effectiveness of the care being delivered.
“The latest data from the Beyond Intervention initiative reveals diverging views between patients and healthcare administrators on how each views the patient experience and the impact of inequities across the healthcare continuum,” CMO & Divisional VP of Medical Affairs for Abbott’s Vascular Business Dr. Nick West said in the release. “This research solidifies the need for physicians to leverage innovative technologies to improve the ability to make and communicate a diagnosis as early as possible in the patient journey.”
With feedback from more than 1,800 patients with cardiovascular disease, physicians and healthcare leaders, the Beyond Intervention initiative found that setting industry-wide standards in diagnostic technologies, including tools, processes and training, can optimize the patient experience with better diagnoses and referrals as well as physician and patient education on disease state awareness and symptom identification.
The research found that healthcare administrators are more likely to rate the patient experience for patients with cardiovascular disease as more positive (65% consider it ideal) than the patients themselves (38%). A common source of patient frustration comes from the lack of electronic medical record (EMR) interoperability, with more than one-third of patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) stating that they “constantly” have to provide medical history and information to physicians.
Healthcare providers and hospital leaders (35% in the research effort) also believe a lack of medical record integration among providers results in a limited exchange of patient history and information. That creates inefficiencies and barriers for early and accurate diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) and PAD, the professionals say.
CAD and PAD patients who identify as underserved report more emotional impacts than non-underserved counterparts, according to Abbott, while female patients reported significantly more challenges than male patients. Abbott said the issues of health equity related to socioeconomic status, age and gender must be addressed in order to improve the patient experience.
One way to improve patient care, Abbott determined, is the use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI could benefit primary care physicians and specialists by optimizing diagnosis, identifying patient symptoms previously undetected or passed over and improving the vascular patient experience.
“Inherent biases can hinder a physician’s ability to detect and recognize symptoms, especially for populations that have been historically misdiagnosed in the cardiovascular disease setting; such as young, female and certain ethnicities,” Dr. Natalia Pinilla-Echeverri, assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and interventional cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences/Niagara Health, said. “Research efforts must be developed on innovative technologies that can support physicians, like screening and stratification tools that can minimize the physician’s individual perspective and biases in order to improve long-term patient outcomes.”
In the Beyond Intervention initiative, Abbott surveyed 1,800 stakeholders, including 1,289 vascular disease patients, 408 healthcare physicians and 173 healthcare leaders from April 2021 to June 2021. Respondents to the online survey represent 13 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.