While the modern American philosopher Joseph Campbell encouraged his readers to reach a synergistic experience with their environment, those seeking to treat atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmia diseases are simply hoping to achieve regularity. The 14th Annual Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium took place this past week and myriad of presentation and technologies revealed a series of solutions for this burgeoning disease.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), atrial fibrillation (a-fib) affects about 2.2 million Americans, and approximately15 percent of strokes occur in people with a-fib. Also, the likelihood of developing the arrhythmia increases with age—three to five percent of people older than age 65 have a-fib.
While robotic devices remain a technologically exciting and evolving choice for administrators who are looking to differentiate their facilities, cryoablation has appeared as the new kid on the block for a-fib treatment. While the cryoblation technique has not yet achieved FDA approval for this condition, it promises to make a big splash at this year’s Heart Rhythm Society meeting in May.
Meanwhile, a different technique, fractional flow reserve (FFR), should soon realize wider adoption rates, even for patients with multivessel disease—at least according to co-principal investigator Dr. William F. Fearon, who told Cardiovascular Business News that FFR is “beneficial and cost-effective in a variety of scenarios.”
As industry and clinicians continue to pursue innovative treatments, the government has been busy in the midst of the New Year and the presidential administration shift. Adhering to the pleas of healthcare organizations, HHS extended the ICD-10 by two years, and CMS issued an NCD for never events.
On these topics, or any others, please feel free to contact me.
Justine Cadet, News Editor