“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the West Midlands AHSN in improving care for patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The team’s understanding of regional and national processes as well as their working relationships with key clinical and commissioning stakeholders have been invaluable.”
Gina McDonald Main, Vice President Government Affairs, HeartFlow
Overview

With the support of all 15 AHSNs, an innovative non-invasive solution for diagnosing coronary heart disease is now being used by 50+ hospitals across England.

The HeartFlow Fractional Flow Reserve CT (FFRCT) Analysis is the first non-invasive diagnostic tool that aids clinicians in determining, vessel by vessel, both the extent of an artery’s narrowing and the impact that the narrowing has on blood flow.

By non-invasively identifying which patients do and do not need intervention, clinicians can reduce unnecessary downstream non-invasive testing and invasive procedures, reduce healthcare system costs and improve patient outcomes.

The solution has the capacity to transform the way coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated. Learn more about the technology in this short animation.

HeartFlow is one of the products featured on the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme, an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with the AHSN Network, which aims to remove barriers to the spread and adoption of innovative products or technologies and the need for multiple price negotiations. It has also been selected as a Rapid Uptake Product (RUP) through the Accelerated Access Collaborative.

52 NHSE hospitals are now using HeartFlow, marking a seven-fold increase since the AHSNs started supporting its rollout through the ITP, and over 10,000 individual scans have been completed in this time. 46% of eligible trusts adopted HeartFlow in the last 12 months.*

* Figures correct September 2019

How is the AHSN Network involved?

Through the Meridian Innovation Health Exchange, West Midlands AHSN (WMAHSN) supported HeartFlow with early engagement with trusts in their region, one of which, Russells Hall Hospital, went on to undertake a trial with the technology and became one of the first hospitals to make HeartFlow available to patients.

WMAHSN facilitated introductions with businesses and specialist clinicians and NHS staff at the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) launch event. The ITP is an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with the AHSN Network, which aims to remove barriers to the spread and adoption of innovative products or technologies (medical devices, digital platforms and technologies).

WMAHSN went on to provide support to HeartFlow through the ITP application process, answering questions and signposting to relevant parties, and in April 2018 HeartFlow was announced as one of the successful ITP products to be featured on the programme.

Impacts / outcomes of AHSN involvement to date

With the increasing interest from hospital trusts and funding and support from NHS England and the AHSN Network through the ITP programme, HeartFlow began to expand their UK presence, building out a commercial team including local experts in cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA), information governance, health economics, and commercial development. HeartFlow plans to continue to expand the team and presence in England to meet growing demand.

This team expansion, and support from The AHSN Network and ITP programmes has led to the following jobs being created directly:

Jobs Created (9)

  • 1 Customer Success Manager
  • 1 Solution Engineer
  • 2 CT Application Specialist
  • 3 District Managers
  • 1 Commercial Director
  • 1 Commercial Operational Manager

A clinical utility study, PLATFORM, including hospital trusts in England, looked at the clinical and economic impact of HeartFlow. Incorporating HeartFlow into clinical care resulted in an 83% reduction in angiographies for patients without obstructive disease and a 26% reduction in costs of care. Patients where the invasive angiography was cancelled were followed for 12 months and there were no adverse events. Patients without disease were able to return home safely, while those in need of care were accurately identified and treated.

In 2017 NICE produced impact reports and favourable recommendations on HeartFlow: NICE concluded: “Based on the current evidence and assuming there is access to appropriate CCTA facilities, using HeartFlow FFRCT may lead to cost savings of £214 per patient. By adopting this technology, the NHS in England may save a minimum of £9.1 million by 2022 through avoiding invasive investigation and treatment.”

Today HeartFlow adoption is increasing and real-world data is emerging. The first NHS real-world experience was presented at the British Society of Cardiovascular CT in 2019. The data confirmed findings from the PLATFORM study and demonstrated even greater clinical efficiencies.

52 NHS hospitals in England are now using HeartFlow, marking a seven-fold increase since the AHSNs started supporting its rollout through the ITP, and over 10,000 individual scans have been completed in this time.. 46% of eligible trusts adopted HeartFlow in the last 12 months.*

Today there are over 2 million patients in the UK with coronary heart disease (British Heart Foundation, CVD Statistics, 2018). While HeartFlow is still in an early stage, as adoption increases, the potential benefits are significant. As NICE chest pain guidelines are adopted and access to CCTA increases, cost savings could continue to expand beyond NICE estimates.

* Figures correct September 2019

Plans / timescales for further work

Summarise the plans – and set out the timescales –  for future work with the company both within the lead AHSN’s area and beyond it.

West Midlands AHSN continues to work with HeartFlow to appreciate the adoption journey in order to share lessons with other trusts that are seeking to adopt this solution and to be able to provide them with a road map to implementation with some practical hints and tips.

It’s also important to continue to collect the real-world evidence of the benefits of adopting Heartflow and see if the innovation provides utility in other specialities for the future.

All AHSNs continue to support the adoption and spread of HeartFlow as part of the ITP and RUP programmes.

Opportunities to get involved

The opportunity for eligible trusts to adopt HeartFlow under ITP funding is available until the end of March 2021, with new arrangements* due to be in place from April 2021. If you would like to know more, please contact your local AHSN.

*without central funding.

Start and end dates

September 2017 – ongoing.

Contact information

 Lucy Chatwin (Head of Innovation, Implementation and Adoption – WMAHSN)

lucy.chatwin@wmahsn.org

 

Gina McDonald Main

VP Government Affairs, UK and Ireland

gmcdonaldmain@heartflow.com