Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing cardiology, says expert

Interaction with artificial intelligence, robotics and other forms of new technologies is causing a revolution in the field of cardiology, said Professor Rafael Beyar of the Rambam Health Care Campus.
“Cardiology has undergone dramatic changes in recent years,” Beyar said. “There are several fields in which we are witnessing these changes. At number one I would put when we can refer to digital health, and especially to the development of better and faster tools for diagnosis based on artificial intelligence, diagnosis of heart attacks, strokes, pain, etc. ”.

“Today, there are many ways to monitor patients, from smart watches to patches and special cameras that can be installed at home, all of which collect information that can be sent to hospitals,” he noted.

Beyar, a former hospital director, is one of the organizers of the Innovation in Cardiovascular Interventions conference that will take place in Tel Aviv from December 5-7.

The conference will bring together hundreds of medical professionals, medical entrepreneurs and researchers.

3D image of a heart in a cardiology test (credit: REUTERS)

Another area that has seen dramatic progress recently is valves.

The heart has four valves that keep blood flowing from one direction to the other.

“Until recently, all valve-related problems had to be resolved with surgery, open chest procedures that also involved several weeks of recovery,” Beyar said. “Now there are some alternative therapies, but not for all problems and there are several companies in Israel and abroad that are working to develop more solutions.”

Robotics is also an important area of ​​innovation in cardiology, the expert noted.

“There have been important advances in the use of robotics to perform surgeon-guided procedures,” Beyar said. “This is also important to allow someone to perform surgery remotely if we imagine a situation where a patient is somewhere where there is no doctor available.”

Israel, a country known for its culture that favors innovation, is a very fertile ground for generating change.

“Israel is unique in that it has many technological solutions developed in the country and they can often be tested in Israel, also because the regulatory process is relatively efficient,” Beyar said.

Asked if it is sometimes difficult to bring about changes in the field of medicine, which tend to be cautious about new methods, the professor remarked that it is always important to ensure the safety of what is being done.

“However, cardiology is a discipline where things happen very quickly,” he said.

“I am an interventional cardiologist and I was present when stents began to be used,” he recalled, referring to the small devices used to treat narrow arteries. “I can tell you that in five years, stents went from being used in 10% of relevant procedures to over 90%.”

For the future, according to Beyar, the question is how digital health tools are going to change the way patients are monitored remotely.

“The coronavirus pandemic has already changed things very quickly in this perspective, but we will have to wait and see that the trend continues and how it develops,” he concluded.

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