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Beacon adopts groundbreaking AI technology for heart patients, a first in Indiana

Beacon Health System is the first healthcare system in Indiana, and among the first community hospitals in the nation, to adopt a groundbreaking diagnostic technology for heart patients.

The new, non-invasive heart imaging system, called CathWorks FFRangio, is currently used at Memorial Hospital and will soon expand to Elkhart General Hospital. This innovative technology leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computational science to assist cardiologists in treating patients with coronary heart disease.

CathWorks FFRangio uses traditional angiograms created with X-rays and other medical imaging to visualize blood flow through the coronary arteries. It transforms these images into a detailed 3D model of a patient’s heart, precisely identifying the location and severity of arterial narrowings and blockages.

Previously, cardiologists relied on 2D data and invasive methods involving pressure wires and drug stimulation blood thinners, to assess blood flow and detect the severity of arterial narrowing.

CathWorks FFRangio revolutionizes this process by providing Beacon cardiologists with a faster, more comprehensive, and less invasive method to perform clinical assessments. This not only optimizes clinical decision-making, but also enhances patient comfort and reduces hospital stay durations.

Dr. M. Shakil Aslam, an interventional cardiologist with Beacon Medical Group Advanced Cardiology Specialists, became a strong advocate for CathWorks FFRangio after witnessing its accuracy and potential benefits for both patients and cardiology team. The technology provides a clearer picture of the degree of arterial blockages, enabling more precise decisions regarding stent placement versus medical management of borderline lesions.

“AI is going to be the future of medicine, and we want to be on the forefront of leveraging that technology to benefit our patients, our cardiology team and Beacon Health System,” Dr. Aslam said. “This system allows us to be less invasive while answering critical questions about a patient’s heart health. This means we can make even better decisions for our patients. It’s exciting to see how AI continues to enhance our expertise for the very best possible patient outcomes.”

Since its implementation this spring, Beacon cardiologists have successfully treated over 50 patients using the CathWorks FFRangio technology. This milestone marks a significant advancement in the standard of care for heart patients, positioning Beacon as a regional leader in the integration of AI in cardiology.

In the news

Dr. Mayank Mittal, Beacon interventional cardiologist, joined Dr. Aslam on Tuesday at the WNDU studios in South Bend.

Together, they discussed CathWorks and the transformative role of AI technology in medical imaging, highlighting its profound impact on medical diagnosis and patient care. Here’s where you can watch the WNDU story.

Whether you are looking to understand your health risks, are living with an ongoing heart or blood vessel problem or have experienced a life-changing emergency, your Beacon care team is here to help – with the information, resources and care you need. Here’s where you can learn much more about heart, vascular and stroke care at Beacon.

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.