Editorial Team

AstraZeneca India (AstraZeneca Pharma India Limited), a leading science-led biopharmaceutical company, together with health-tech startup, Tricog, rolled out a programme called ‘Project Heart Beat’, which is focused on early and accurate diagnosis of Heart Attack patients, thereby reducing the mortality rates. It is currently deployed in tier 1, 2 towns and villages that lack in access to quality healthcare. This project addresses the unmet need for early diagnosis and intervention for patients with suspected heart attack by enabling cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) supported interpretation of electrocardiograms (ECGs), routing patients to the nearest Cath Labs or fibrinolysis centres, thereby ensuring accurate diagnosis & timely treatment and ultimately improving patient outcomes.

This initiative also aims to upskill the physicians and technicians at the primary & secondary care centers to better manage Heart Attack patients, by following the guideline recommended ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) treatment protocols and early referral to the tertiary care centers for better treatment outcomes.

Commenting on the successful rollout of Project Heart Beat, Gagan Singh Bedi, Managing Director – AstraZeneca India, said, “With regards to heart attacks and its treatment, early diagnosis and timely treatment is the key. As the young population is also prone to heart attack these days, it is vital that we arrange facilities for early diagnosis and treatment in rural parts of the country, as they don’t have easy access to modern healthcare facilities. 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. Through this program, we have already touched the lives of more than 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 this campaign, AstraZeneca has deployed a Hub & Spoke model, partnering with a Bengaluru-based startup Tricog Health. Currently there are 8 Tertiary care centers (Hubs) connected to 39 primary/ secondary care centers (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 interprets the data, which is reviewed and finalised by a trained medical practitioner, and the response is relayed back to the primary/ secondary care center as well as the tertiary care center in less than 10 minutes.

Commenting on this initiative, Dr Charit Bograj, CEO, Tricog, said, “We are glad to partner with AstraZeneca for this project as this is for something which impacts the lives of many Indians. India has one of the highest burdens of cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide. 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. Here we are trying to bridge this gap.”

Currently, Project Heart Beat has eight major hubs with all facilities to treat heart attack patients in India. To name a few, Sanjeevan Medical Center, Karad- Maharashtra, Metro heart, Faridabad -Delhi NCR, Spandan hospital,Bhopal -Madhyapradesh, CKS hospital, Jaipur-Rajasthan, Lifeline hospital, Thane -Maharasthra, B K L Walawalakar Rural Medical College, Kasarwadi- Maharashtra, with a plan to expand the initiative across India in the coming months.

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