Atrial Fibrillation: A Major Healthcare Challenge
AF is one of the most important public health issues and a leading cause of increasing health care expenditure in Western Europe. AF costs the US economy >$6.65 billion per year with 75% of the cost resulting from hospitalisations. With the aging population this number is expected to double by 2023.
Figures from USA
1% of the population suffer from AF
10% of patients are over 70 years of age
2 to 3 million Americans have AF
50% of symptoms are unresponsive to drug treatment
AF is the leading cause of increasing health care expenditure
Types of AF
AF usually originates from the left atrium (LA) which has a complex structure and shape, including four veins that drain blood from the lungs into the heart.
Paroxysmal AF: recurrent AF (≥2 episodes), terminates spontaneously within 7 days
Persistent AF: AF sustains >7 days, or needs pharmacologic or electrical cardioversion
Permanent AF: AF not corrected by treatments other than medication
Left atrium: this is a video of a left atrium showing the four pulmonary veins (PVs) entering the back of the left atrium. These veins have electrical signals that fire off and initiate AF.
Paroxysmal AF can be prevented by electrical isolation of the four pulmonary veins.
This image is an X-ray of a circular mapping catheter in the left upper pulmonary vein with an ablation catheter at the exit of the vein delivering ablation to isolate it
By contrast Persistent AF…
Is AF triggered from ectopic activity but sustained because of activity within the atria itself with multiple different mechanisms
The activation is apparently random and chaotic but in reality there are usually 1 to 4 sources, all of which may have different types of mechanism: rotational activity, focal firing, microreentry
STAR Mapping™ will enable clinicians with limited experience to map persistent AF (the most complex variant of AF). It also outperforms the most experienced clinician in identifying relevant sites for ablation of AF.
Ablation, also known as catheter ablation, is a treatment that aims to control or correct certain types of abnormal heart rhythms.
STAR Mapping™ is an AI technology used in catheter ablation of AF that replicates the logical, deductive, process applied to electrical signals, which are collected by the cardiac catheters already used in the mapping procedure.
STAR Mapping™ has been tested in patients undergoing catheter ablation. Clinical trials validated that STAR Mapping™ correctly identified abnormal rhythm mechanisms, reduced time spent on ablation and is able to analyse more data than a human observer.
RHYTHM AI is looking to collaborate with new and incumbent 3D mapping companies to demonstrate compatibility and to undertake feasibility studies.
If you’d like to know more about STAR Mapping™ please get in touch