Gold Coast based Amtan Medical Centres have trialled a heart scanning device which it believes will revolutionise the early detection of heart failure.
Amtan, which has eight general practice clinics on the Gold Coast, was the only general practice in Australia invited to join the trial in 2020, with other trials being conducted in a small number of hospitals.
The handheld ultrasound scanning device, called Butterfly iQ, can be used by general practitioners to scan a patient’s heart and see a picture of it on their smart phone. The equipment provides instant views of the heart working.
Amtan co-owner, Dr Ameer Hamza, said that to date general practitioners could only hear a heart through a stethoscope and scans usually needed to be conducted at specialised cardiac centres or hospitals, requiring more time and cost for the patient.
“Butterfly iQ is an ultrasound device we can use in any practice or take to the patient, such as in an aged care facility. It also has enormous potential for at risk patients, regional practices and general practitioners not close to hospitals.
“By seeing the heart function via an ultrasound in our clinics, we can detect early stages of heart disease without having to wait for a hospital visit to be scheduled and results to be sent to us,” Dr Hamza said.
Dr Hamza said the device trials showed excellent accuracy. “We were able to detect things such as heart failure. I have no doubt these early detections helped save lives.
“Heart failure is a very silent disease often not detected until it is too late. People often put off having thorough heart check-ups, especially during the last 12 months when COVID resulted in us staying home more,” he said.
“Now when patients visit our clinics, they can have their heart scanned as part of a regular check-up. And who knows what we might find.
“This device will overtake stethoscopes as one of the most used apparatus in a general practice.”
Dr Hamza said he was very excited and felt lucky that Amtan was invited to trial the device.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve patient care and grow early detection of any health issues. Butterfly iQ will be an important part of our consultation process moving forward.”
Butterfly IQ is being used in the United States and other parts of the world but is new to Australian general practices. The trial was set up by local distributor Novartis.
Lee McLean PR 0411 868 348