Amazon Web Services > Case Studies > HeartFlow's Transformation of Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment with AWS

HeartFlow's Transformation of Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment with AWS

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Machine Learning
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy - Security Compliance
Applicable Industries
  • Education
  • Healthcare & Hospitals
Applicable Functions
  • Product Research & Development
  • Quality Assurance
Use Cases
  • Automated Disease Diagnosis
  • Disease Tracking
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • Testing & Certification
About The Customer
HeartFlow is a medical technology company that is redefining the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated. The company has developed a non-invasive technology, the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis, which uses deep learning to create a personalized 3D model of the heart. This model allows clinicians to better evaluate the impact of a blockage on blood flow and determine the best treatment for the patient. HeartFlow's technology is designed to help clinicians diagnose and treat patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease and the world's leading cause of death. The company's mission is to improve heart care worldwide by providing a safer, more effective alternative to the invasive, expensive, and potentially risky diagnostic coronary angiogram often used to detect CAD.
The Challenge
HeartFlow, a medical technology company, is revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease with its non-invasive HeartFlow FFRct Analysis. This technology uses deep learning to create a personalized 3D model of the heart, allowing clinicians to better evaluate the impact of a blockage on blood flow and determine the best treatment. However, the company faced a significant challenge. Cardiovascular disease, the world’s leading cause of death, claims more than 17 million lives each year. The most common type, coronary artery disease (CAD), reduces blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attack, and death. Clinicians need to know if and where there is a blockage, and how it is affecting blood flow. This information is crucial in choosing the best treatment pathway for the patient, such as medical management, stenting or bypass surgery. However, the diagnostic coronary angiogram often used to detect CAD is invasive, expensive, and potentially risky. More than half of patients who undergo the test have no significant blockages, and the procedure can be associated with serious complications.
The Solution
HeartFlow developed the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis, a non-invasive technology that helps clinicians diagnose and treat patients with suspected CAD. It provides clinicians with insight into the extent of CAD and its effect on blood flow, helping them design a definitive, personalized treatment plan for each patient and reduce additional testing. Data from a non-invasive coronary CT angiogram is securely uploaded from the hospital to the cloud. HeartFlow uses deep learning to create a personalized, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. HeartFlow’s certified analysts make any necessary corrections to the model. Then, the HeartFlow Analysis uses machine learning and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) algorithms to solve millions of equations regarding the blood flow. The resulting HeartFlow FFRct Analysis shows how blockages are affecting coronary blood flow and is provided to the healthcare team via a secure web interface. To meet the massive processing power required for timely results, HeartFlow transitioned its entire infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Operational Impact
  • Moving to AWS has not only given HeartFlow the performance it needs to continue its rapid growth and improve its product, but it has also greatly increased DevOps and engineering agility. The company can now change Amazon EC2 instance types on demand, allowing it to step into new technologies very quickly. Developers can instantly provision services they need to innovate, and faster release cycles mean accelerated product improvements. HeartFlow has also simplified security compliance using AWS. The company can demonstrate that it is storing personal health information (PHI) in a highly secure fashion enabled by Amazon’s HIPAA-eligible services, which helps get its product to market much faster. AWS also supports the company’s international growth plans, enabling HeartFlow to deliver across regions with one set of technologies, keeping its team nimble and reducing the technical skills needed to be effective.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Significantly faster modeling and CFD computations since moving to AWS
  • Ability to handle any amount of growth and manage uneven workloads effortlessly
  • Accelerated minor product updates from once a year to biweekly with no downtime to customers

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