The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Cardiology Breakthroughs

cardiologyCardiology has made leaps and bounds in the past couple of decades. New technology has been introduced and new procedures have taken effect to increase the success rate and decrease mortality rate. Cardiology has grown in importance with heart disease on the rise and other complications making their way into the surgery room. These advancements have made headlines and sparked new ideas for way to better the process of repairing, replacing, and taking care of your heart. Below you will find some of the most innovative cardiology based breakthroughs to ever come about. I hope you enjoy the article and please feel free to share with others!


This is the process of recording electrical activity generated by the heart over a specific period of time. This process take place by use of electrodes on the patient’s body that emit notifications of electrical changes on the skin. These electrical signals stem from the heart muscle depolarizing during each heartbeat.

Preventive Cardiology & Framingham Study:

These methods and studies have shown mass amounts of data between long-term cardiovascular research of adult subjects, through multiple generations. Preventive cardiology is based around the idea of conducting tests and utilizing a conscious sense of general health to stay ahead of the curve in regards to heart disease or other cardio-based complications.

Lipid Hypotheses & Atherosclerosis:

The lipid hypothesis is based on the premise of using methods to lower the plasma lipids in patients hyperlipidemia to reduce heart complications. Doctors and physicians looks to lower cholesterol and other saturated fat related issues that lead to cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis on the other hand is the thickening and hardening of arteries that tend to occur in older people. Plaque in arteries causes blood flow to slow down and can have negative cardiovascular implications.

Coronary Care Units:

Also known as Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is a specialized hospital ward to aid patients who have experienced a heart attack, unstable angina, cardiac dysrhythmia and other serious cardiac conditions. These conditions require constant monitoring and treatment for the affected individuals.


This process is also known as Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE), or cardiac ultrasound. For an echocardiography there is a transducer or probe placed to the chest wall/thorax of the patient or subject and images are captured through the chest. This gives physicians and doctors a better look at what is going on inside a patient without opening them up.

Thrombolytic Therapy:

This unique therapy is used to break up clots or blockages within a patient’s blood vessels. As previously mentioned these block or clogs can cause serious damage and this process heal that. Through clot-dissolving medications injected by your doctor, clots are broken down through the power of the bloodstream.

Cardiac Catheterization & Coronary Angiography:

Cardiac Catheterization is a medical procedure in which certain heart conditions can be diagnosed and treated. A long, thin, and flexible catheter (tube) is put into a blood vessel in a patient’s arm, groin, or neck and threaded to their heart. Coronary Angiography is a test that uses dye and x-rays to show the insides of your coronary arteries. The dye allows doctors to get a great view of the arteries and see if there are any blockages or unwanted substances building up with the help of the special dye.

Open-Heart Surgery:

In certain cases patients require open-heart surgery where doctors must bypass the heart by exposing it. It is a fairly risky operation, however it has saved countless lives and provided more with hope for a future.

Automatic Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators:

These defibrillators are small technologically advanced devices that are surgically implanted by doctors to monitor and help treat irregular heartbeats. These irregular beats are known as arrhythmias and can cause heart attacks. In the case of an arrhythmia a defibrillator can correct the heart’s mistake and the patients can remain healthy.

Coronary Angioplasty:

This procedure is used to widen and unblock narrowed coronary arteries through the use of a balloon that will stretch open an artery. The arteries can be blocked by cholesterol, cells, or other substances also known as plaque. These blockages need to be fixed as soon as possible to avoid heart attack or other health complications.

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Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Quality Metrics & Success in Cardiology

cardiology-solutionsCardiology compensation has been seeing a steady decline over the past two years.  Some organizations are struggling to adjust their compensation metrics, which is heavily weighted on what’s known as relative value unit generation, or “RVU.”  To face the challenge of declining compensation, organizations are striving to allocate a portion of cardiologists’ compensation determined by quality metrics.  Plus, sometimes it can be difficult for organizations to change their method of payment, especially when doctors have been with their groups for so long.

By determining pay through doctors “value” instead of “volume,” doctor’s can focus on offering quality care to patients. It’s still negotiable if they’ll be paid fairly for this approach.

Here are three organizations changing their compensation strategies, and the lessons they hope healthcare executives to learn.

Spectrum Health Medical Group

This the Michigan-based multispecialty physician group includes 1,100 providers that provides a straight-salary compensation package. They tried a productivity-based compensation model for its 38 cardiologists.  Instead, they opted for a straight salary compensation package.  This package offers opportunities to earn more based on quality metrics.  Their four metrics: clinical productivity, program development, scholarly activities, and clinical excellence.  They offer bonuses such as 0.5% if a cardiologist sends a provider note about the patient.  This type of package hasn’t seen much success outside of Cleveland Clinic, but depending on its success, it might prove that a straight-salary package could be the best option for cardiologists.

St. Vincent Medical Group

Based out of Indianapolis, this group just renegotiated their contract for 85 cardiologists.  In past years, the RVU determined most of the salary, but from now on, 20% will come from management and quality metrics while 80% will be based on RVU.  In past years, the ratio was 10% to 90%.  St. Vincent’s cardiologists have said that they’re open to negotiating a compensation package less reliant on productivity.

Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic faced some friction with cardiologists when introducing new quality metrics.  By encouraging doctors to perform better, the best doctors continued to perform well and less-experienced or lacking doctors immediately improved.  According to Dr. Daryl Elmouchi, “Targeting one of the highest-paid specialties with a focused approach on metrics that determine its value to the organization is one way to prepare for value-based reimbursement.”  This approach seems to be working at Cleveland Clinic, and if it can work at one of our best hospitals, it’s worth investigating at medical groups across the country.


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Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Philips Will Showcase Cardiology Solutions

royal-philipsThe company Royal Philips, a leader in technology and medical equipment officially announced its presence at ESC Congress 2015. This news was highly anticipated as many are expecting big news from the company and are sure to not be disappointed. Philips will be showing off its most recent cardiology based solutions, including the Heart Model A.I., EchoNavigator, and IntelliSpace Cardiovascular. The new products coming out of Philips are a major enhancement in the process of connecting people and technology to care for patients better, assist in diagnosis’, guide treatments, and enable better home care.

The Philips booth number at the ESC Congress is #G200. all visitors to the booth will experience Philips’ unique approach to cardiovascular treatment and care. They will be showing off their one of a kind digital tools and capabilities for image guided therapy & ultrasound, intravascular imaging and sensing, treatment. They will also be showcasing their technology centered around patient monitoring, healthcare IT and advanced software applications driving advancements in predictive and precision medicine in cardiovascular care

Bert van Meurs, General Manager, Image Guided Therapy for Philips was recently interviewed and was quoted on the company’s technology and their involvement in the ESC Congress by saying, “holistic cardiovascular care looks beyond the disease to understand what really matters for all involved along the patient journey.” Meurs went on to say “Our patient-centric solutions enable novel and effective minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. These solutions also support physicians when assessing disease states, help decide and guide the right treatment and confirm whether interventions were successful. In addition, our recent acquisition of Volcano will increase our capabilities to deliver this support to both physicians and patients.”

For those of you that are not familiar with ESC Congress, it is the largest and most influential cardiology event in the entire world. This congress is the center stage and showing ground for all of the best, most-noteworthy, and important industry innovations. For the duration of the event Philips will be participating in multiple symposiums as well as personal hands-on tutorials for anatomical intelligence and peri-interventional imaging. They will also be discussing their most recent and up-to-date advances in diagnostic and interventional echo.

Heart Model A.I., the newest ultrasound technology coming out of Philips is sure to turn heads with its proprietary technology. Heart Model A.I. features automated 3D views, large scale reproducibility, and the best quantification to cardiac ultrasound imaging. I’m definitely excited to hear more news surrounding the new technology and how it can lead to massive advancements in cardiology healthcare.

Below are some of the main pieces of technology that Philips will be showing off and discussing at their booth and their symposiums.

Heart Model A.I.:

This new technology is part of a huge suite of new tools and technologies. The system is designed to enhance automation and reproducibility, and helps to meet ideas about the most critical strains on high volume hospitals and healthcare organizations.

IntelliSpace Cardiovascular:

This technology gives access to a huge and expansive range of images. These images include a cardiac history timeline that provides a high-level overview of a patient’s long-term health care process.

Minicare 1-20 Acute:

This Philips based technology is a unique system that provides top of the line healthcare information and data. Minicare delivers an extremely user friendly, handheld, platform that allows clinical diagnosis results for blood testing within minutes of inception.

I’m really happy to learn about all this new technology and excited to see what else Philips has up their sleeve.

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Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: 10 Surprising Heart Attack Risk Factors

tyde-pavlinik-heart-attackWe have already covered some of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular health problems before (obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, poor diet, smoking, etc), but new research is discovering some interesting, and far less common factors that could be putting you at risk without realizing it. What are these less obvious risk factors?

1. Your Asthma Medication, if You Take it Daily

According to an article published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, asthma that requires daily medication is associated with a 60 percent higher risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease.

2. Your Heartburn Medication, if You’re Using PPIs.

According to recent study by Stanford University, taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid—was associated with a 16 to 21 percent higher risk of heart attack.

Curiously, the study did not find a similar link associated with another commonly used type of heartburn medication: H2 blockers—such as Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac.

What’s the difference? They think that since PPIs can reduce the production of nitric oxide, an important molecule that helps maintain the inner linings of your blood vessels, they might also accelerate heart disease.

3. Your Migraines, if They Have an Aura

Migraine auras mean that your migraines are preceded by visual symptoms. According to a 2013 study by the Women’s Health, middle-aged and older women in particular were at an increased risk of heart attack if they had these kinds of migraines.

How big was the increased risk? According to researcher Tobias Kurth, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the French National Institute of Health, this symptom was found to be the second-strongest contributor to heart attack and stroke risk after high blood pressure.

4. Skipping Your Yearly Flu Vaccine

Recent research has shown that the yearly flu vaccine actually decreases your odds of having a heart attack by 50 percent in the year following the shot compared with those who don’t get the vaccine. Why? Antibodies that are produced after the vaccination activate molecular processes that protect and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

5. Your Weak Grip

According to research published in May 2015 by the Lancet, the force you exert when you squeeze something as firmly as possible in your hand is another predictor of heart attack risk. Scientists found that for every 5-kilogram (11-pound) decline in grip strength, there was a 7 percent higher risk of having a heart attack and 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death.

6. Resetting Your Clock for Daylight Saving Time

When you adjust your clock to accommodate for Daylight Saving Time, you’re also disturbing your circadian rhythm. According to research by the American College of Cardiology, there is a 25 percent increase in the number of heart attacks that occur on the Monday after we set our clocks forward by one hour compared with other Mondays during the year. In contrast, there is a 21 percent decrease in the number of heart attacks that occur on the Tuesday after we set our clocks back by one hour.

7. Your Drinking Habits

Research published in the journal Epidemiology found that the chances of having a heart attack increased 72 percent in the first hour after drinking alcohol. When you start drinking, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your blood is more likely to clot. However, about 24 hours after consuming alcohol, the overall risk of heart attack decreases by 14 percent.

Basically, alcohol may provide a protective effect over time, but it also may cause a temporary spike in heart attack risk. It’s best to consume it in small but regular doses.

8. Your Temper

According to a 2014 study published in the European Heart Journal, patients who described their mood as “furious” or “enraged” were five time more likely to have a heart attack in the two hours after an intense bout of anger.

9. Traumatic Events (if you’re a woman)

According to research by the American Heart Association, traumatic life events—like the death of a loved one or a life-threatening illness—increased heart attack risk for middle-aged and older women by nearly 70 percent.

10. Your Painkillers

Commonly used over-the-counter and prescription painkillers known as NSAIDs (i.e. brands like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve) come with a warning about an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. According to several new studies by the FDA, the risks are greater than previously thought, and can increase even after using NSAIDs for a short time. The risk also increases with higher doses, so it’s recommended to always use the lowest viable does.

It’s important to understand these less common risk factors, so you know what to keep an eye out for. When you visit your doctor, ask them about any questions you may have. It’s important you understand your own individual risk factors and are able to plan accordingly. That’s what can set you on the path to effective, long-term cardiovascular health management.

Thank you for reading!

-Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Blood Pressure & Risk

tyde-pavlinik-blood-pressureWe’ve all been told by our doctors that high blood pressure is not healthy. We need to keep calm, eat healthy, exercise, and destress. High blood pressure is known to affect the heart as well as other vital organs. You should always be conscious of how your blood pressure is doing so you can appropriately monitor it and remain healthy.

According to a new study fluctuating blood pressure can be more closely tied with cardiovascular disease and even death. Researchers used data that they collected from over 25,000 people that participated in a study on hypertension. The researchers took seven blood pressure readings during months 6 to 28 of the study. They even followed the patients for 2.8 years (average) after the trails were complete.

The study found that people compared with others in the lowest ⅕ for variability in systolic blood pressure readings, those in the highest ⅕ were 30% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease or experience a non-fatal heart attack. Thats not all thought, researchers also found out that this population was 46% more likely to have a stroke, 25% more likely to have heart failure, and 58% more likely to die from any cause. In the tests, the researchers accounted for sex, age, race, diabetes, smoking, and more factors.

Paul Muntnrer, a professor of Epidemiology at the university of Alabama at Birmingham, and lead author was quoted in saying, “We usually use average blood pressure as a measure, because reducing that has led to reduced risk. The fluctuations get dismissed. But variability in blood pressure appears to be a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and it may be an important thing for doctors to look at.”


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-Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: How Do We Fight the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease?

tyde-pavlinik-cardio-diseaseCardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and hospitalizations in both men and women across levels of income. High cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, and lack of exercise are the leading risk factors for developing cardiovascular problems. While we’ve made great progress getting the rate of smokers to steadily decline in recent years, we’ve also seen a consistent rise in rates of obesity. There’s work to be done, and cardiologists, individuals, and public health officials will need to approach these issues with a diverse toolset in order to make a true impact on public health. Here’s how we’re going to tackle the number one threat to human health.

We need to educate people about their health from the start: childhood. Programs such as the Sesame Street Education Project in Colombia are helping educate young children about the importance of health, reaching millions of child viewers in Columbia each year. In the United States, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move campaign, targeting childhood obesity through proper fitness and nutrition. Experts are predicting that children who go through these programs (who will reach adulthood in nearly 10 years) will have lower cardiovascular risks than their parents.

We also need to see important advancements in research and technology that will enable scientists to do more from a treatment standpoint. Early detection, for example, is an important factor in preventing death and/or hospitalization, but cardiovascular illnesses are often slow to show symptoms. For that reason, it has been given the ominous nickname “The Silent Epidemic.” Doctors need better ways to detect when arteries have just begun to accumulate arterial plaque, while the condition is easily treatable, instead of waiting for serious blockages or heart failure to take place.

There will need to be improvements in our ability to help those who survive one myocardial infarction (heart attack) from suffering a second. It might seem obvious that one would need to make certain lifestyle changes and take appropriate medications after suffering from a heart attack, but studies have found that a large percentage of people who suffer a heart attack to do not end up taking their prescribed medications. For some, taking a lot of pills each day is unappealing or too much work, for others, such as those in low income areas, they simply cannot afford it. For this reason, scientists have been focused on the polypill, which combines three medicines active in secondary prevention into a single pill. This pill is now beginning to be distributed widely, and studies on those taking the pills will help doctors and scientists determine how important medications are in future prevention of myocardial infarctions.

Everyone from physicians to politicians will need to prioritize cardiovascular health, but the public will also need to be more responsible for their own health. As the world refocuses on promoting healthy exercise, proper nutrition, early detection, and advanced treatments, it is the public’s job to take these advancements and education and apply them to their own lifestyles. With everyones help and focus, we can make a real impact on the future of cardiovascular health.

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-Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: 200 People Examined at Cardiology Camp

tyde-pavlinik-cardiologyOn July 5th, 2015 200 patients were examined at a cardiology camp located in Maratha Basti, Trikuta Nagar. The camp was organized by the Department of Cardiology as well as organized under the umbrella of CHILDLINE (an initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development), Law Department, University of Jammu.. The examination included men, women, and children.

The doctors that led the examination were Dr. Sushil Sharma, Dr. Nasir Choudhary, Dr. Mohi Kalsotra, Dr. D. Kapoor, as well as some supporting staff like Waryam Singh, Kashmiri Lal, and numerous volunteers. These volunteers helped out extreme amounts by lending their time and hands to a worthy cause.

Among the testing and helpful advice given to patients by doctors Dr. Sushil Sharma strongly urged patients to be as clean as possible and real watch their personal hygiene. Sharma urged them to drink pure and clean water, eat healthy foods and nutritional supplements, and screened them of any diseases particularly the menace of rheumatic heart diseases and congenital diseases by birth. These diseases are extremely prevalent among the population of the area. Sharma was quoted in saying, “If this disease is acquired by child, it goes on for a lifelong Rheumatic heart disease for the patient. Ensuring good health to these children shall bring down burden of cardiac ailments.”

The camp also conducted physical examinations and investigations, blood tests, thyroid tests, and ECG testings. The organizations involved in the camp doled out extra medicine for particularly needy patients.

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Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: Cardiology’s 3D Future

tyde-pavlinik-3d-heart-futureWhat differentiates a good surgeon from an exceptional surgeon? Unlike a good surgeon, exceptional surgeons have the unique ability, perhaps gained through years of experience, of visualizing a human organ in their minds. It is certainly easier said than done, and only a handful of top surgeons around the world are likely to be able to do this with some level of accuracy. But emerging 3-D technology may soon change that and hopefully change how operations as fragile as those dealing with the human heart are dealt with.

Dassault Systèmes is a French company that specializes in 3-D software that helps engineers designing cars and planes avoid potentially fatal flaws in their design by providing accurate 3-D models. Dassault Systèmes is hoping to bring this technology into the world of human heart surgery with the launch of their “Living Heart Project.” The Living Heart Project will work to provide hospitals and surgeons with the technology necessary for modeling a human heart in 3-D from a patient’s scan. The surgeon can wear 3-D glasses and use a joystick to zoom in and out of different parts of the heart as well as listen to the heart beats.

Reconstructing the human heart in 3-D can be useful to test out several possibilities before a big surgical procedure is performed, and much of the activity around the Living Heart Project is focused on researching the human heart in a way that we couldn’t before.

But much skepticism exist around this technology, with some fearing that doctors should not rely too much new, untested technology as opposed to more traditional forms of medical research. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has held back on openly endorsing Dassault Systèmes’ tech, but have been working closely in using it for research purposes. Doctors have not received regulatory approval for using this 3-D technology in making medical decisions, but hospitals can use them for educational and research purposes as well.

The software behind the Living Heart Project is provided by Dassault Systèmes for free to organizations who agree to conduct and share the results of research. There are currently 45 partner organizations working with the Living Heart Project, including Stanford University, University of Oxford and the Mayo Clinic. For those that would need to license this technology, the rates are currently very affordable. $15,000 a year for commercial use while an education license starts at $500 per year.

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-Tyde Pavlinik

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The latest blog post from Tyde Pavlinik: All Smoking Dangerous for Heart Health

tyde-pavlinik-cigarette-heartWe all know how dangerous smoking is for the human body and how it can destroy everything from the lungs, to the heart, and other vital organs. The consumption of cigarettes with their dangerous toxins has been found and known to cause deterioration in all areas of the human body as well as cause cancer of various kinds. There are many misconceptions regarding smoking though where some people believe certain kinds of smoking are not as dangerous as others. I hope that this article can help set the record straight in regards to the danger and harm caused by smoking.

Cigarettes are not the only culprit when it comes to suffering health and heart problems. Electronic cigarettes, hookahs, and waterpipes all hurt your heart and your body in general. The European Society of Cardiology has found that each of these forms of smoking are just as dangerous as traditional cigarettes.

Dr. Joep Perk from the ESC was quoted in saying “smoking of all types is still, without any competition, the strongest risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It beats everything.” Dr. Joep went on to say, “There has been a lot of research over the past 2-3 years which makes us very clear that all tobacco use, including the water pipe, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, is simply not good for your health.”

Some studies have even alluded to the fact that water pipes and hookahs could be more dangerous than cigarettes. Dr. Perk has found that the longer smoking sessions with these devices paired with deeper and more prolonged inhalations could lead to increased levels of toxin exposure. Electronic cigarettes are another major risk factor as they are quite useful when trying to quit smoking however it has led an increased population of youths to pick up the deadly habit.

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-Tyde Pavlinik

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