Einstein Healthcare Network is using new technology to treat patients with heart failure, one of the biggest health scourges in the country. Einstein is the only hospital in Pennsylvania using a new implant that boosts the heart’s pumping function more effectively than previous devices.
“This is the most advanced biventricular device available,” said Sumeet Mainigi, MD, associate director of Electrophysiology at Einstein. “At every other hospital in Pennsylvania, patients will receive older, less sophisticated and less helpful models,” he said.
Heart failure, the leading cause of hospitalization of seniors older than 65, is a condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood effectively, so patients with this condition are short of breath, weak and often become completely incapacitated.
The treatment for patients who are eligible is to have a biventricular implantable cardioverter defibrillator (BICD) placed inside the chest, both to prevent cardiac arrest and help the heart beat more efficiently. But only about 66 percent of patients respond to the pumping part of the device, so the search has been on for a better mechanism.
The new MultiPoint Pacing technology spans a larger portion of the diseased heart than previous devices, allowing the heart to beat more naturally—more like it was designed to do. Dr. Mainigi called it a “game-changer,” because it allows “a more tailored approach. There are a lot more options about where to pace.”
Studies have shown that this new device can benefit patients who didn’t respond to previous devices, and also improve the responses of those who did. “This turns everybody into a responder, and responders into super responders. We can very aggressively target heart failure,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure. It costs the nation an estimated $32 billion a year, including the cost of health care, medications, and missed days of work. MultiPoint Pacing technology, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, was approved by the FDA in February, 2016.