AstraZeneca India on Tuesday partnered with health-tech startup Tricog to roll out a programme called ‘Project Heartbeat’, focused on early and accurate diagnosis of heart attack patients, to reduce mortality rates.
The project addresses the unmet need for early diagnosis and intervention for patients with suspected heart attack by enabling cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) supported interpretation of electrocardiograms (ECGs), routing patients to the nearest Cath Labs or fibrinolysis centres.
The initiative also aims to upskill the physicians and technicians at the primary and secondary care centres to better manage heart attack patients, by following the guideline recommended in ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) treatment protocols and early referral to the tertiary care centres for better treatment outcomes.
“With regards to heart attacks and its treatment, early diagnosis and timely treatment is the key. As the young population is also prone to heart attack these days, it is vital that we arrange facilities for early diagnosis and treatment in rural parts of the country, as they don’t have easy access to modern healthcare facilities,” AstraZeneca India Managing Director Gagan Singh Bedi said in a statement.
“The key objectives of this programme include early and accurate diagnosis of MI patients, reducing the door to balloon time/needle time, and making necessary drugs available at the primary care centres,” he added.
Currently, ‘Project Heartbeat’ has eight major hubs with all facilities to treat heart attack patients in India, including Sanjeevan Medical Centre, B.K.L. Walawalakar Rural Medical College and Lifeline hospital in Maharashtra, Metro Heart in Delhi-NCR, Spandan hospital in Madhya Pradesh, and the CKS hospital in Rajasthan.
The eight tertiary care centres are connected to 39 primary/secondary care centres, where a 12-lead ECG machine with a communicator device has been deployed.
The device sends the ECG readings to the cloud in real-time, where AI algorithms interpret the data, which is reviewed and finalised by a trained medical practitioner, and the response is relayed back to the primary/ secondary care center as well as the tertiary care center in less than 10 minutes.
The programme has already touched the lives of more than 13,000 patients and resulted in the early identification of abnormal ECGs, Bedi said.
“We are glad to partner with AstraZeneca for this project as this is for something which impacts the lives of many Indians. India has one of the highest burdens of cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide. Data by the Indian Council of Medical Research indicates that it takes more than six hours to reach a hospital in more than half the cases of heart attacks,” Tricog CEO Dr Charit Bograj said.