Sharing a vision for the evolution of healthcare delivery

Healthcare News | 2014-01-15


Since 2008, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and Siemens Healthcare have jointly researched the use of advanced laboratory and imaging technologies for improved patient care management, including early disease detection, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. To date, the collaboration has resulted in submission of several patents to the U.S. Patent Office in the areas of fetal medicine, precision medicine, and oncology, in addition to the publication of original papers in 28 peer-reviewed medical journals, 51 scientific meeting presentations, and 15 programs across several clinical conditions. Recently, the organizations announced their progress in exploring minimally invasive diagnostics for use in sudden cardiac death and chronic liver disease assessment and risk management.

About Sudden Cardiac Death

Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) claims about 7 million lives each year worldwide1 occurring in people with known or unknown heart problems. Currently, at-risk patients may be treated with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to prevent SCD. Unfortunately, identifying appropriate patient candidates for an ICD is challenging. In fact, more than two-thirds of patients with ICDs may not benefit from treatment, while some more appropriate candidates go untreated.

An Innovative Approach to Determining Risk

To address this clinical need, Hospital Clinic and Siemens are collaborating on an innovative approach to determining SCD risk. Rather than assessing heart function, which is standard, clinic investigators are researching the use of minimally invasive diagnostics as stratification tools to identify severity of cardiac fibrosis, or scarring in the heart, which increases SCD risk. More accurate SCD risk identification may in turn help physicians better determine patients most likely to benefit from preventative measures. Promising early study results show viability for the use of high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and in vitro diagnostic markers in the minimally-invasive assessment of cardiac fibrosis.

Progress in Chronic Liver Disease

The partnership has also made significant strides in exploring the potential clinical utility of imaging and blood tests in assessing chronic liver disease (CLD), another leading cause of death worldwide. The partnership’s liver disease program employs Siemens ADVIA Centaur® Enhanced Liver Fibrosis™ Test2, a direct biomarker panel for liver fibrosis assessment, and Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI), radiology imaging that evaluates liver tissue with both qualitative assessment and quantitative values through Virtual Touch™ applications available on the ACUSON S2000™ and ACUSON S3000™ ultrasound system3. The introduction of these tools into the management of CLD patients is enabling Hospital Clínic physicians to more closely monitor disease progression and adjust treatment strategies accordingly.

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1 Medscape. SCD. Available at Accessed 10/22/13.

2 Product availability may vary from country to country and is subject to varying regulatory requirements. Not available for sale in the U.S

3 The combination of the ELF test and ARFI is under feasibility evaluation. The ELF test and ARFI are not available for sale for use in combination and the future availability of these products with such an intended use cannot be guaranteed

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