GE Healthcare adds Heartflow’s noninvasive CAD test to CT scanners

The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis software creates a model of a patient's blood flow using data from his or her CT scan. (HeartFlow)

In its second collaboration this year, Heartflow has struck a deal with GE Healthcare aimed at boosting the availability of its noninvasive technology for the analysis of coronary artery disease.

Under the agreement, GE will integrate the Heartflow FFRct Analysis software into its CT scanners. The FFRct technology uses data from a patient’s coronary CT scan to create a 3D, color-coded “map” of the coronary arteries. This shows the extent of narrowing or blockages in the coronary arteries and whether they are affecting blood flow. The physician will then use the analysis to decide which treatment is most appropriate.

Currently, users send CT scan data from a HeartFlow processing center, where it is turned into 3D models of the coronary arteries. Integrating the FFRct software into CT scanners will cut this step out.

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“This agreement with GE will help bring our game-changing noninvasive technology into the mainstream of cardiac care at thousands of hospitals that are already using state-of-the-art CT systems from GE,” said HeartFlow CEO John Stevens, M.D., in a statement.

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The pair will first focus on the U.S. before expanding to other markets, the companies said in the statement. In May, Heartflow tied up with Siemens Healthineers to combine its FFRct platform with Siemens’ CT scanners.

“By collaborating, we can ensure that HeartFlow FFRct can be easily integrated into existing CAD protocols and more readily transform the care of patients with suspected and potentially life-threatening CAD,” Stevens said.

Earlier this year, the U.K.’s cost watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, backed the use of FFRct to evaluate patients with recent onset chest pain. The agency found that using the noninvasive tech will lower the cost of assessing each patient by $267 and could save the healthcare system $11.4 million per year by avoiding the need for invasive testing.