ACC's Dr John Rumsfeld: Digital Health in Emergency Cardiology Care

Emergency cardiac care is an interesting challenge for digital health but it has a lot of potential if it can bring together the public and the healthcare system to create app, predictive models, and more to be able to detect stroke and acute myocardial infarction earlier, explained John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, chief innovation officer at the American College of Cardiology.

Emergency cardiac care is an interesting challenge for digital health but it has a lot of potential if it can bring together the public and the healthcare system to create app, predictive models, and more to be able to detect stroke and acute myocardial infarction earlier, explained John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, chief innovation officer at the American College of Cardiology.

Transcript

What benefits are there from utilizing digital health in cases of emergency care in cardiology?

I think emergency care in cardiology is a particularly interesting problem for digital health, and here's why. When we think about other technologies in healthcare, they are often delivered currently in an office or in the hospital, and that's great. Where we have great technology, that's fantastic.

When you're talking about emergency cardiac care, you're immediately talking about early detection of the problem or predicting the problem of, say, sudden cardiac death, heart attack, or stroke. Early detection, early symptom reporting by patients or noticing if there's a cardiac arrest, early treatment—whether it's CPR or calling emergency servives or activating emregency medical services. Early diagnosis of heart attack or stroke, and then plugging them into the system.

So, in some ways, emergency cardiac care is a really interesting model, because you have to take the public, people in the public, and the healthcare system, and bring them together. And digital health, actually, should be the link between those 2 things. So for example, everything from apps to predictive models to sensors might, in the future—and I emphasize "might"—be the link between how we have earlier detectino of the risk of sudden cardiac death, the earlier detection of acute myocardial infarction, earlier detection of stroke, but then link it into the system.

There are already some apps, and there are already some tools for this, and there's frankly a lot of hype. A lot of, "wow, this is amazing. Artificial intelligence is going to predict who is going to have a stroke or heart attack." Most of that is unproven. We're still at the beginning, where we need a lot more evidence on using these digital health tools to improve that so-called chain of survival. And I think we need some serious evidence that they work or do what they say. But I"m hopeful that if clinicians and patients are working with the tech companies, we could actually design these to solve the problems we need of earlier detection and earlier activation of treatment.