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AstraZeneca, Tricog use AI to lower heart attack mortality in India

AstraZeneca, Tricog use AI to lower heart attack mortality in India
Photo Credit: VCCircle
28 Sep, 2021

Biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Pharma India and healthtech startup Tricog on Tuesday announced a programme called Project Heart Beat, focused on early and accurate diagnosis of heart attack patients in the country.

The programme, aimed at reducing heart attack mortality, is currently deployed in tier I and II towns and villages that lack in access to quality healthcare.

The need for early diagnosis and intervention for patients with suspected heart attack is aimed to be met by enabling cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) supported interpretation of electrocardiograms (ECG), routing patients to the nearest Cath Labs or fibrinolysis centres.

This initiative also aims to upskill the physicians and technicians at the primary and secondary care centres to better manage heart attack patients, by following the guideline recommended ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) treatment protocols and early referral to the tertiary care centres.

“The key objectives of this programme include early and accurate diagnosis of MI patients, reducing the door to balloon time / needle time, and making necessary drugs available at the primary care centres,” Gagan Singh Bedi, managing director of AstraZeneca India, said.

Bedi added that the programme has so far touched the lives of over 13,000 patients and resulted in the early identification of abnormal ECGs that were referred to their respective tertiary care hospitals to further aid in effective disease management.

For the campaign, AstraZeneca deployed a hub and spoke model, partnering with Bengaluru-based Tricog Health.

Currently there are eight tertiary care centres (hubs) connected to 39 primary or secondary care centres (spokes), where a 12-lead ECG machines with a communicator device has been deployed.

The device sends the ECG readings to the cloud in real-time, where artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms interpret the data, which is reviewed and finalised by a trained medical practitioner, and the response is relayed back to the primary or secondary care centre as well as the tertiary care centre in less than 10 minutes.

“Data by the Indian Council of Medical Research indicates that it takes more than six hours to reach a hospital in more than half the cases of heart attacks, and unfortunately, many are losing their loved ones due to the delay in diagnosis and treatment,” Dr Charit Bograj, CEO, Tricog, said.