Reflecting on the importance of Heart Health month
By Art Butcher, executive vice president and president of Asia Pacific
Heart Health Month is a time to reflect on the importance of heart health and celebrate the difference that innovative technology makes to so many lives.
This year, I think of Cynthia, my executive assistant at Boston Scientific, who has tirelessly supported me since I took up my role a year ago. It was around that time when Cynthia was diagnosed with a heart condition and treated with a Boston Scientific drug-eluting stent. The speed of Cynthia’s recovery meant that very few knew she had a heart condition. If you observed Wear Red Day earlier this month, the red you wore honored Cynthia along with the millions of women who face cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) around the globe.
Cynthia’s experience offers us another reason to appreciate the healthcare professionals’ efforts behind her treatment and recovery. Medical devices change lives, but efforts to alert and educate patients on preventing heart disease and stroke are equally important.
At Boston Scientific, we are deeply committed to advancing heart health, and we have much to celebrate this month. But we also acknowledge that there is much more to do in the fight against CVDs.
The impact of cardiovascular disease
CVDs are the number one global cause of death, accounting for 17.9 million deaths or nearly a third of all deaths. Of all CVD causes, ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the deadliest and a significant contributor to mortality and morbidity.
Around the world, the economic burden of CVD is estimated to be $863 billion. Frequent hospital visits, long-term disease management and recurring heart attacks and strokes contribute to this burden; so does higher survival rates that leave more people at a higher risk of complications.
CVD wreaks havoc on patients’ lives, reducing their working hours and life savings and straining family dynamics. For CVD patients, especially those who live do not live near major cities, the cost of treatments and hospital visits can be catastrophic.
The vital role of medical devices in protecting heart health
We are making progress in reducing these grim statistics. Through dedicated research, creativity and cutting-edge science, we have developed life-saving procedures and advancing technology to improve heart health, such as:
- Catheters with high-definition imaging technology to help physicians more effectively perform percutaneous coronary intervention, a surgical procedure that treats the narrowing of the coronary arteries, by enabling them to investigate abnormalities with pinpoint accuracy.
- Electro-anatomical mapping technology to allow electrophysiologists to diagnose and treat rhythm abnormalities with more speed and effectiveness to lower the risk of CVD progression.
- Remote monitoring technology and artificial intelligence to help healthcare professionals predict CVD complications before they happen.
At Boston Scientific, we are proud to be at the forefront of developing these new devices and other medical solutions that help CVD patients worldwide.
But amazing new technology does not help men and women who don’t know the signs of CVD or don’t have access to appropriate treatment.
That’s why it is so important to support Heart Health Month or Wear Red Day to raise awareness about the risks of CVD and how to address them. In doing so, we honor those in our lives who may have CVD, including Cynthia.
Through education, innovation and an unwavering commitment to drive down CVD statistics, we can transform patients’ and caregivers’ lives and relieve the burden of CVD in APAC and around the world.
 World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)
 Khan M, et al. Global Epidemiology of Ischemic Heart Disease: Results from the Global Burden of Disease Study. Cureus (2020); 12(7): e9349. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384703/
 The quality of cardiovascular disease prevention in rural areas, The Australian Journal of Rural health