VITAL program partners with Allegheny Health Network and HeartFlow to evaluate a novel 3D technology

New modeling tool aids physi­cians’ ability to iden­tify best treat­ment for patients with coro­nary artery disease

Pittsburgh PA and Redwood City, CA (April 25, 2016) – Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network (AHN), and HeartFlow, Inc. announced today that they are part­nering to eval­uate a novel non-​invasive diag­nostic tech­nology that offers physi­cians insight into both the extent of a patient’s coro­nary arte­rial blockage and the impact the blockage has on blood flow. The part­ner­ship is part of Highmark Health’s VITAL (Verification of Innovation by Testing, Analysis and Learning) Innovation Program.

The HeartFlow Analysis uses images derived from a stan­dard, non-​invasive coro­nary CT angiogram (cCTA); the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared product creates a person­al­ized, digital 3D model of each patient’s coro­nary arteries. Powerful computer algo­rithms then solve millions of complex equa­tions to assess the impact of block­ages on blood flow. This infor­ma­tion aids physi­cians to deter­mine the appro­priate course of action for each patient.

Traditionally, our options for diag­nosing coro­nary artery disease included either a non-​invasive stress test or an inva­sive heart catheter­i­za­tion.” said Moneal Shah, MD, a cardi­ol­o­gist at AHN and the lead inves­ti­gator of this program. With the tech­nology from HeartFlow, we are essen­tially combining the infor­ma­tion provided by a heart catheter­i­za­tion and a stress test through a simple non-​invasive test. This is the first non-​invasive tech­nology to do this and has the poten­tial to reduce the need for inva­sive testing.”

Coronary artery disease, also called coro­nary heart disease, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Coronary artery disease develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow, often because of the buildup of plaque in the vessel walls. The coro­nary narrowing can reduce blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. In the United States, an esti­mated 16.3 million adults suffer from coro­nary artery disease and it is the leading cause of death world­wide, killing approx­i­mately 3.8 million men and 3.4 million women each year. 1

AHN cardi­ol­o­gists already have reported that the HeartFlow Analysis has provided more defin­i­tive clin­ical infor­ma­tion that led to an improved treat­ment strategy for several patients. Recently, a 78-​year-​old male dealing with chest pain for more than a year had two normal stress tests, but his symp­toms persisted. Physician review of the coro­nary CT and HeartFlow Analysis indi­cated the patient had exten­sive disease that would require a revas­cu­lar­iza­tion with two stents. Meanwhile, a 58-​year-​old female patient with a history of hyper­ten­sion had an abnormal stress test but was able to avoid an inva­sive angiog­raphy when physi­cian review of the HeartFlow Analysis indi­cated that her disease was not severe and medical manage­ment would be the optimal treat­ment.

These exam­ples illus­trate how this inno­v­a­tive tech­nology can poten­tially assist cardi­ol­o­gists to improve their diag­nostic skills so that the right care can be prescribed to the right patient,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Director of AHN’s Cardiovascular Institute.

Through the VITAL program, payers are able to under­stand the full impact of new tech­nolo­gies on their members without changing insur­ance medical policy prema­turely. Additionally, providers gain early access to novel tech­nolo­gies and a first-​hand under­standing of their impact on patients. In this way, tech­nology vendors have the oppor­tu­nity to prove the bene­fits of their new inno­va­tions to patients, providers and payers.

VITAL’s mission is to leverage Highmark Health’s posi­tion as one of the largest inte­grated health care delivery and financing systems in the nation in order to accel­erate the pace with which novel tech­nolo­gies and services are made avail­able to the public,” stated David Holmberg, President and CEO, Highmark Health. Our members and patients will be afforded access to safe new tech­nolo­gies that increase the quality of care and create posi­tive patient outcomes without undue finan­cial burden.”

About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enter­prise that employs more than 35,000 people nation­wide and serves 40 million Americans in all 50 states, is the third largest inte­grated health care delivery and financing network in the nation. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affil­i­ates provide health insur­ance to 5.3 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insur­ance, vision care and related health prod­ucts through a national network of diver­si­fied busi­nesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, Davis Vision and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an inte­grated delivery network that includes eight hospi­tals, a community-​based network of physi­cian orga­ni­za­tions, and a group purchasing orga­ni­za­tion, ambu­la­tory surgery centers, and health and well­ness pavil­ions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the infor­ma­tion tech­nology plat­form and other busi­ness needs of the Highmark Health enter­prise as well as unaf­fil­i­ated health insur­ance plans by providing proven busi­ness processes, expert knowl­edge and inte­grated cloud-​based plat­forms. To learn more, please visit www​.high​markhealth​.org or www​.vital​in​no​va​tion​pro​gram​.org or contact Highmark Health at 412−544−0968.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network is an inte­grated health care delivery system serving the western Pennsylvania region. The network is comprised of eight hospi­tals, including Allegheny General Hospital (its flag­ship acad­emic medical center), Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; a research insti­tute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; and a health care group purchasing orga­ni­za­tion. The network employs approx­i­mately 17,000 people, including more than 2,100 physi­cians on its medical staff. The network also serves as a clin­ical campus for both Temple University School of Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

About HeartFlow
HeartFlow Inc. is a person­al­ized medical tech­nology company seeking to trans­form the way cardio­vas­cular disease is diag­nosed and treated. The company’s HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis is the first avail­able non-​invasive solu­tion that enables a physi­cian to more accu­rately eval­uate whether a patient has signif­i­cant coro­nary artery disease (CAD) based on both anatomy and phys­i­ology. The novel solu­tion, which produces a model of the patient’s coro­nary arteries, is well posi­tioned to become an inte­gral part of the stan­dard of care for patients who are at risk for CAD because of its poten­tial to improve clin­ical outcomes, improve the patient expe­ri­ence and reduce the cost of care. The HeartFlow Analysis is being utilized glob­ally and is commer­cially avail­able in the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan. For more infor­ma­tion visit www​.heart​flow​.com. Learn more about HeartFlow PLATFORM trial results here: http://​www​.heart​flow​.com/​w​p​-​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​2​0​1​5​/​0​8​/​C​C​M-100 – 083-A-HeartFlowPLATFORMACCRelease160328-final.pdf 1. American Heart Association


Lynn Seay
Highmark Health

Doug Braunsdorf
Allegheny Health Network

Chris B. Ernst
HeartFlow Inc.