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FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek

Personalized Virtual Heart Models for Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Patients with Heart Failure

Alternative title: Personaliserte virtuelle hjertemodeller for diagnose og behandlingsplanlegging hos hjertesviktpasienter

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

Heart failure (HF) remains a major health problem in Norway and is expected to increase with an aging population. Identifying which patients are at risk for HF and determining the optimal therapy for these patients remain a challenge. The vision of MyVirtualHF is to reshape the diagnosis and treatment of HF by developing personalized virtual heart data models for therapeutic decision making. This vision addresses the current lack of specificity in the design of care for the individual heart failure patient. Current practice relies on biomarkers (such as ejection fraction or ECG) to make predictions about the patient's prognosis. More invasive electrophysiological measurements can provide better insight into the patient?s condition. However, this puts the patient under unnecessary risk. The goal of MyVirtualHF is to address this limitation in current clinical care by developing personalized virtual cardiac models that can be used by physicians to non-invasively and safely diagnose and predict therapeutic response in HF patients. To accomplish this goal, MyVirtualHF has generated finite element models of hearts from non-invasive magnetic resonance images. This library of virtual hearts has already provided insights into the relationship between patient specific structure and their risk to deadly arrhythmias. Additionally, the simulations performed with this cohort of virtual hearts has been combined with machine learning techniques to identify specific imaging features that can be used to predict patient risk. These initial results have already shown that computational models of the heart have the potential to reshape the diagnosis of arrhythmic risk in patients with heart failure. MyVirtualHF will continue to improve these models and push the promise of this technology to its full potential.

The prevalence of Heart Failure (HF) in Europe is 5-8% and a leading cause of hospitalizations. However, the diagnosis and management of HF patients remains a challenge. The vision of MyVirtualHF is to reshape the diagnosis and treatment of HF by the development of personalized virtual heart computer models for therapeutic decision making. This vision addresses the current lack of specificity in designing care for the individual HF patient. Current medical standards rely on imprecise and insensitive biomarkers (such as ejection fraction or ECGs) to make predictions about patient trajectory. While more invasive measurements (such as pacing induced arrhythmia) have shown promise as better outcome predictors, the high risk for complications associated with the procedures makes implementation in the clinic inadvisable. Finally, predicting an individual patient’s response to therapies remain difficult. Often, drugs or procedures need to be fine-tuned or repeated in order to reach optimal therapeutic response from patient. The aim of MyVirtualHF is to address this limitation in current clinical care by developing personalized virtual heart models that can be used by physicians to non-invasively and safely diagnose and predict therapeutic response in HF patients. In order to do so, MyVirtualHF will develop efficient personalization methods that incorporate an individual HF patient’s geometry, genetics, electrophysiological changes, etc. into virtual models. The heterogeneity and complexity of remodeling that occurs under HF makes personalization an inherently risky endeavor. However, the success of MyVirtualHF could lead to a paradigm shift in treating and ensuring health in HF patients.

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FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek