CardioNexus an affiliated company of Panasonic Healthcare introduced Panasonic CardioHealth Station at the 2011 Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology. The CardioHealth Station, which has just received clearance from the FDA, is an automated and portable cardiovascular imaging device which aims to complement traditional blood pressure and cholesterol measurement in physicians’ offices and to help detect the hidden risk of heart attack and stroke.
The FDA decision allows CardioNexus to sell the CardioHealth Station for use not only in hospitals and community clinics, but also in cardiologist, internist and family physician offices, as well as in retail healthcare clinics.
The device, which relies on Panasonic’s advanced, high-resolution, real-time, ultrasound technology, measures the thickness of the arterial wall through the skin quickly and reproducibly. According to the company, it is considered a major advancement in the automation of medical technologies which enable physicians, their assistants, and nurse practitioners who are not specialised in ultrasound imaging to use the device and detect high risk patients.
“The CardioHealth report which combines Framingham Risk Score with carotid IMT and plaque assessment provides a more accurate assessment of a patient’s risk than measuring blood pressure and cholesterol alone,” said Morteza Naghavi, president and CEO of CardioNexus. “It takes us beyond the status quo and empowers internists and primary care physicians to use noninvasive imaging in their office.”
According to a 2010 study based on the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” initiative, only 23% of 136,905 patients hospitalised with coronary artery disease had high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels while 77% were reported to have normal LDL levels and therefore would not have been identified as high risk.
“We have already seen tremendous interest in the technology, particularly among internists and primary care physicians who up until now have not had an automated non-invasive imaging technology in their office,” said Steven Lynum, director of Panasonic Healthcare’s Clinical Products who is also an executive vice president at CardioNexus. “CardioHealth Station allows them to easily incorporate atherosclerosis imaging in their management of cardiovascular patients based on the recent guidelines.”
The CardioHealth Station includes a handheld ultrasound probe to scan the carotid arteries on both sides of the neck and to detect hidden plaque build up and increased thickness in the artery wall. Testing is performed in a matter of minutes without pain, discomfort or exposure to radiation; and the results are available immediately.
According to the American Heart Association there are over 60 million Americans at risk of a heart attack and in need of screening and preventive care.