“You’re Good to Go!”

Reassuring words like these from your cardiologist which should fill you with optimism and relief – right?

But not if you were Steve Tyler.  Because Steve was in a hospital bed having just survived a potentially fatal heart attack despite getting the all clear from his cardiologist – just 4 months before.

So you can see he was less than reassured.

Steve’s Story

Because his dad died of a heart attack at only 67, Steve knew he was at risk. And that’s why he did everything he could to prevent the same happening to him – leading an active, healthy lifestyle and having regular heart checks. It was at a check up where he was told he had 40% blockage of an artery which was treated with cholesterol medication. But, Steve had no idea he was at risk of his artery rupturing.

Steve had what was known as a ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) – or widowmaker heart attack.

Everyday Australians like Steve barely survive a widowmaker heart attack, and when they do, they and their families, are left facing a lifetime of uncertainty – unsure of the risks they face and questioning – will it happen again?

But there’s hope on the horizon, thanks to exciting advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

The research that could help

Dr Sritharan’s research is looking at using Machine Learning to create a web-based risk assessment tool for patients like Steve, who have experienced severe heart conditions like STEMI heart attacks, heart conditions from COVID-19, or acute Aortic Stenosis. Unfortunately as you can imagine, these patients are extremely sick and vulnerable following their life-saving intervention, and they have a higher risk of:

  • Passing away in hospital,
  • Being admitted to ICU, and
  • Having ongoing poor heart function.

The aim of this research is to empower clinicians with enhanced risk prediction capabilities, so these vulnerable people are ensured of early interventions and personalised treatments for improved patient outcomes.

As Dr Sritharan explains, “Our hope is simple – to ensure better outcomes for our patients and provide them (and our clinicians) with an improved level of certainty that, going forward, they will be ok.”  

Dr Hari Sritharan spoke at our latest Heart Health Club webinar, if you’d like to learn more about his research you can watch the recording here.