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Santelices, L C1; Antaki, J F2; Dew, M A1; Holm, M B1; Mathier, M A1; Simaan, M A1; Desai, K1; Kormos, R L1

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With the growing experience of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for end-stage heart failure it is clear that full potential of this therapy has yet to be realized. The future growth of this therapy will require a balance between surgical intervention, management of the underlying heart disease, operation of the device, and overall care of the patient. Furthermore, the expertise required for optimal implementation of these devices is highly multi-disciplinary and limited to a relatively few medical centers worldwide. This project aims, therefore, to improve the coordination and quality of care of these patients through the use of a computer-based decision support system. This system features “intelligent” algorithms, based on real-time patient information, statistical correlations, expert medical input, and bioengineering models that will both guide the operation of the implanted device and assist with the associated medical decision-making. Versions of the system will be accessible to clinicians and the patients themselves on a mobile, handheld computer. By following the course of treatment from a holistic perspective, we believe that the Decision Support System will support a comprehensive treatment plan that both respects patient preferences and backgrounds, and emphasizes physical and emotional rehabilitation. Beneficial to long-term and bridge to recovery LVAD patients, this system will also help to disseminate expertise of the most experienced medical centers to those with limited experience- essential for widespread, and responsible use of LVADs.

Copyright © 2004 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs