Original article: Prestigioso premio per l’innovazione tecnologica assegnato a un giovane cardiologo del Gemelli - Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS (policlinicogemelli.it)
The Jon DeHaan Foundation annually awards the two best abstracts on technological innovation in the field of interventional cardiology, selecting them among the approximately 2 thousand, submitted to the EuroPCR international congress, dedicated to interventional cardiology. And this year, the prize was awarded equally to Dr. David Kuraguntla and Dr. Domenico D'Amario of Gemelli.
"The award," comments Dr. D'Amario, "consists of a large sum of money to be used for the improvement and implementation of the awarded research. I have not yet decided how to use these funds, but the three areas I am considering are the further development of this device also in association with devices already available in clinical practice, the implementation of a clinical pathway dedicated to patients followed in digital mode with heart failure, and the development of educational projects aimed at medical staff in training and technical/nursing staff in order to improve, with the help of technology, the patients with advanced heart failure's healthcare experience, always remembering that the development and success of any innovation is based on the passion, collaboration and dedication of all the professionals involved and the shared pathway and willingness of our patients."
Patients with advanced heart failure represent a challenge for modern cardiology, also for their number: in fact, about 2% of the European population is affected by this pathology. Heart failure has a significant impact on treatment pathways and weighs on the direct and indirect costs of healthcare, also due to the numerous hospitalizations due to the exacerbations of their pathology.
"The work we sent to EuroPCR presents the world's largest experience ever with the use of the V-LAP device (see 'Heart: under special surveillance') on the world's first 24 patients, 5 of whom were implanted at Gemelli Cardiology ward and followed up for more than a year. In the world, we are the center that, along with the Israeli center, has implanted and followed up the largest number of these devices, developed by the Israeli start-up Vectorious Medical Technologies, and our follow-up was the best performing. In fact, we were able to show that, thanks to this special 'sentinel' microcomputer that is implanted in the heart at the level of the interatrial septum, none of the followed patients, no matter how severe and very complex, needed to be hospitalized for heart failure flare-ups. All changes in therapy were promptly made electronically, based on data provided to us by V-LAP and before the onset of symptoms."
But not only that. Positive repercussions were also felt on the patients' perceived quality of life; V-LAP turned out to be highly appreciated by both patients and their caregivers because this type of technology, far from making healthcare less 'human', conveyed to them the concrete presence of the medical and nursing staff, always at their side for a comprehensive and daily takeover of their care needs. In short, V-LAP has resulted in both an objective improvement in biological parameters and in patients' quality of life.
"This is the first ever experience in the world made with V-LAP on this number of patients - concludes Dr. D'Amario - and the excellent results obtained have led us to this prestigious award".
The V-LAP device is currently only implantable in a clinical trial and is not yet on the market.