Grant Application

Matthew Suffoletto, MD, UPMC Presbyterian

Proposed Innovation

Structural interventions are a growing specialty area in cardiology. Heart diseases traditionally treated with open heart surgery are now being treated with less invasive approaches using new devices and procedures. These cutting-edge procedures require a higher level of expertise and training in the use of the echocardiogram, or echo.

Improvements in Action

Imaging is vital to preprocedure planning. But studies often need to be redone at referral centers, placing additional financial and logistical burdens on patients. This project aims to close the gap between the cardiac ultrasound studies performed at UPMC referring sites and the specialized preprocedural ultrasound exams that are often repeated to determine candidacy for mitral valve intervention. This would be done by providing the necessary training to cardiologists and cardiac sonographers in the community.

Through this project, internal media content will be developed to provide training in preprocedure transthoracic and transesophageal studies. This will include training in three areas:

  • Quantitative assessment of mitral valve regurgitation.
  • 3D echocardiography.
  • Pre and postprocedure assessment of the mitral valve undergoing transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER).

Intended Outcomes

Providing targeted educational content on a digital platform will allow community cardiologists and echo lab staff to expand their skillsets involving the latest devices and procedures in the mitral valve space. This will ultimately reduce the need for repeat diagnostic ultrasound studies while improving the patient experience.