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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Uniting patient and cardiologist voices in advocacy and surgical advancement: Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week

Health Industry Hub | September 18, 2023 |

Marking Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week, Tanya Hall, CEO of hearts4heart and Professor Peter Kistler, Cardiologist, Head of Electrophysiology at The Alfred Hospital and Head of Clinical Electrophysiology Research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, took centre stage in an interview with Health Industry Hub. Together, they revealed the key gaps in atrial fibrillation (AF) awareness, research, and diagnosis, unleashing insights into cutting-edge health technology and key advocacy initiatives.

Tanya Hall brought a unique perspective driven by her own personal journey and daily interactions with patients grappling with similar challenges. “I faced numerous hurdles in getting a diagnosis due to being a young female, an atypical demographic for atrial fibrillation,” she revealed.

With more than 200 publications in leading cardiology journals and his role as Chair of the AF ablation guidelines for the Cardiac Society of Australasia (CSANZ), Professor Kistler underscored the existing research gaps in atrial fibrillation. “We’re still unravelling the mechanisms behind this condition. Surprisingly, drug management is lagging behind,” he explained.

Professor Kistler highlighted a promising new surgical intervention known as Pulse Field Ablation (PFA)* which holds the potential to enhance atrial fibrillation management. He also emphasised how wearable devices and artificial intelligence (AI) are transformative elements shaping the AF landscape of patient care.

Tanya passionately expanded on the need to integrate patient perspectives into policy decisions. She pointed to collaborative efforts aimed at bridging the gap between clinicians, patients, and industry stakeholders, forging a unified voice to advocate for better outcomes.

“It’s really important that patients have a voice and that the decisions that are made are not economic decisions alone. It should be about what’s best for patient outcomes,” she urged.

Professor Kistler acknowledged the role of clinicians in advocacy and the indispensable contributions by patient groups like hearts4heart in advocating for meaningful policy change.

*Medtronic, J&J MedTech and Boston Scientific

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