Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Updating my cardiac knowledge

DSC00655Back on the road, and it takes it’s toll. The ‘week of ideas’ became a ‘week of silent contemplation’, working from early morning late into  the evening in the UK, Copenhagen, and now the US.  Sometimes life gets ahead of good intentions.

The European Society of Cardiology Acute Cardiac Care meeting was in Copenhagen last week, and turned out to be a particularly good gathering.  Many friends and colleagues were presenting their research and ideas, and there were good reviews of current diagnostic techniques and emerging therapies.

The Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010 were rolled out: this is an update to the worldwide clinical practice standards for  life-threatening cardiac arrest, AMI, stroke and respiratory arrest.  Every five years, the leading lights of the scientific and clinical communities review the new published science and update the best practices: this year’s changes focused on the importance of early and continuous chest compressions, and on the improvements that come from cooling to 34C to protect the brain and heart.

DSC00651I gave a talk reviewing our work with subcutaneous heart monitors, small devices placed just beneath the skin to continuously watch for problems with heart rhythms, and the further opportunities to remotely assess patient health and risk factors. It was well received, with good questions and people coming up afterward to talk about some of the ideas.  It sett my thinking of in some new directions, especially with regard to the importance of establishing trust between patients and providers in remote monitoring settings.  We’ve all had bad experiences with technical call centers, and it would be intolerable to have similar issues in a health care interaction.

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