It’s February 7thand the medical community is observing Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week sponsored by the American Heart Association to encourage awareness and education about congenital heart defects (CHDs). This week has been set aside to honor those born with a heart defect and all of the families and friends touched by children with heart defects. As participants of multiple CHD trials and validation studies lets discuss CHD challenges and solutions for rapid CHD detection.
According to the American Heart Association, about one child out of 100 births every year in the US is born with a CHD condition. This is due to a problem that happens as the child’s heart is developing during pregnancy, before the child is born. CHDs are the most common type of birth defects and people live with heart defects throughout their lives. As we all know, there are many types of congenital heart defects and the most common involve the inside walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, or the large blood arteries and veins carrying blood to and from the heart. Some of these heart defects require no treatment; however others require treatment soon after birth. Treatments which have many dependencies can include medications, catheter procedures, surgery, and sometimes heart transplants. Because cardiac diagnosis and treatment has greatly improved, more children are surviving and many CHD adults are living full complete lives.
Regardless of treatment, detection and monitoring are key for managing CHD; the gold standard has been ultrasound echocardiogram, however recent clinical studies in India have validated that new EKG-enabled intelligent stethoscope technology can serve as a precursor to ultrasound echocardiogram for CHD detection and monitoring.
This new technology solution which integrates digital auscultation with EKG functionality and diagnostic imaging in the familiar shape and size of a stethoscope is called HD Steth. HD Steth leverages digital health technologies to instantly detect and diagnose CHD. This represents a paradigm shift at the point-of-care setting. Now medical professionals can instantly identify a patient’s cardiac condition, capture and share patient data, and identify cardiac defects in real-time improving patient quality-of-life.