With 16-20 million total people affected by rheumatic heart disease globally, sub-Saharan Africa has almost half of the estimated 2.4 million school-aged children newly affected by the disease. It is thought that the prevalence of rheumatic disease might equal or surpass that of HIV in Rwanda, yet it does not currently reach the agenda of health initiatives.
At the invitation of the Rwanda Heart Foundation, Team Heart began collaborating with Rwanda stakeholders to improve care available to individuals suffering from the effects of this silent disease through two initiatives: by building a program to address the burden of cardiac surgery for those critically ill from progressing disease; and by supporting initiatives to prevent and provide early intervention.
A key initiative of Team Heart’s mission is to place mobile echo machines with trained personnel in critical areas across Rwanda so individuals may be properly diagnosed. Creating a program to support and formalize a training program for sonographers is a big part of this plan.
Team Heart conducted 2,700 echos using GE and Sonosite ultrasound machines on children aged 9-15 and transmitted the results using Studycast, a cloud PACS offering powerful cardiac imaging reporting tools. Using Studycast, cardiologists in the United States and around the world have access to the images and will complete their echo interpretations. The data collected and analyzed will help Rwanda identify human and financial resources needed to address the leading cause of heart disease and implement preventative measures.
About Team Heart
Team Heart is a non-profit organization working to help Rwanda in building a much needed cardiac surgery program. Since 2007, Team Heart has partnered with organizations to address the burden of rheumatic heart disease in Rwanda. They work to improve care available to individuals suffering from the effects of heart disease by supporting initiatives to prevent and provide early intervention.
For more information please visit their website at http://www.teamheart.org
Studycast is the leader in diagnostic testing and radiology workflow solutions. Traditional methods for transmitting ultrasound studies could take up to an hour, while Studycast studies can be transmitted in five minutes or less.