Updated: May 23
Finding a New Path Is Closer Than We Know
By Ian Ségal
24 April 2021
Over the decades, we have witnessed a growing trend of people enjoying an improved quality of life (QoL). In parallel, with an enhanced QoL, life expectancy has been dramatically elevated. But with this furthering of additional years, increased exposure to other ailments has seen their rise, specifically those within congestive cardiac failure. Unfortunately, and in most cases, this upsurge in heart failure (HF) incidences has directly impacted QoL, making the urgency to find new methods for treating cardiology patients ever more crucial.
Today, HF impacts over six million Americans, along with approximately 650,000 new cases reported annually. And while many physicians continue to prescribe an approach offering a framework of diet, exercise, and medication, patients, for the most part, have found themselves at a juncture absent of hope, eyeing a road that has come to an end with no salvation — one empty of hope. However, with one avenue being exhausted — one focused on traditional treatments for cardiology patients — a new path is being paved that delivers renewed expectations while harmonizing QoL with quantifiable results.
That new direction was shaped by an invention that intelligently and dynamically addresses HF using device-based technology, specifically the Optimizer CCM therapy system. This minimally invasive procedure that implants an intelligent device inside the chest provides FDA-approved cardiac contractility modulation treatment. This new approach, utilizing FDA-designated breakthrough technology, addresses characteristic heart failure while mitigating mortality in patients with severe HF. And with calculable data, driven from clinical studies and current subjects, cohesive benefits have been convincing, raising the bar to disseminate this information to the greater outlying community of cardiologists and their patients, eager to embrace a new chance at life — one that revitalizes both body and spirit.
A Paradigm Shift
With congestive cardiac failure and other heart conditions climbing to epic proportions, worldwide populations increasingly suffer the impact of heart disease — as much as a 10% exposure increase for those over 70. Additionally, for those patients over 45 years, a noticeable variance of close to 2% was recognized concerning an ejection fraction (EF) less than 40%. While these numbers are daunting, they cannot compare to the compromised lifestyles experienced by an increasingly aging populace.
And with so many more people working within digital remote environments from the comfort and convenience of their homes, a decrease in physical exercise and a surge in obesity has accelerated the candidacy for heart disease. Additionally, while effective for symptomatic heart failure, devices such as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) remain limited in reaching optimal therapy levels. Although advancements in pharmacology have progressed over the past decade having delivered improved heart medication to patients in dire need, people with HF continue to grapple with the tenacious reality of unrestrained morbidity.
Yet, over the past two decades, in parallel to the facilitation of CRTs and ICDs, a team of engineers has worked unstinting hours with a steadfast dedication to design not only the next generation of device-based therapy but elevate the remedial outcome and QoL for HF patients. The Optimizer device has entered the field with unmatched results specifically designed to address Class III HF's vital unmet conditions. This revolutionary technology affords heart failure patients a new road in life — one in which the patient is empowered with realized hope and confidence to enjoy a life-changing opportunity to live more satisfying lives.
But what is of greater importance relies on both clinician awareness and adoption of this breakthrough innovation. Patients who may benefit from this device-based therapy are not always adequately identified, especially those absent of a care team designed to navigate their journey to improved health and QoL. While patients transition from Class II to Class III HF, their advancing needs will be typically addressed by a personal healthcare practitioner, such as a doctor of internal medicine specializing in cardiology or a cardiologist. Occasionally, some patients may even visit an electrophysiologist when their heart condition warrants safeguarding from sudden cardiac death.
But this will not speak to the acceleration of exacerbating symptoms and the deterioration of life quality, both of which accompany patients through their HF decline. To this point, only when patients move toward Class IV HF — usually alerted by frequent decompensation and hospitalization (i.e., greater than two times per year) — will they find their way into the hands of a heart failure specialist with the added support of an HF program team.
Transparent and Open Communication
In addition to pivoting awareness into CCM therapy, it is also critical to open up the healthcare ecosystem with open communication — one inviting a wide array of clinicians caring for heart failure patients. Such a direction promotes facilitating discussion conveyance while fostering a model for holistic data analysis and collaboration. This methodology enriches the care for the patient with unimpeded benefits. It remains imperative that all providers treating HF patients understand the indications and practice the due diligence of patient screening for options like CCM therapy.
Establishing expectations blended with robust communications while cultivating an operational cadence between the primary care cardiology and electrophysiology teams will improve referral experiences. More importantly, this approach will affect the attainment of better utilization of device-based therapies. And as life expectancy continues to increase, people, specifically those burdened with HF, need not welcome lengthened years that are upended by debilitating health. They now have a life-changing path that can lead them to a promising new beginning.