New Northwestern Medicine location provides patients local access to highest level of thoracic surgery care

Patients in Chicago’s northwest suburbs now have local access to the surgery team that performs state-of-the-art minimally invasive and robotic chest surgery, treatment for cancers of lung and esophagus, and lung transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Ankit Bharat, who performed the United States’ first double lung transplant on a patient with COVID-19, began to see patients in McHenry on Oct. 20.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

The new office location at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital will be open to patients who have diseases of the chest, including the airways, lungs, esophagus, diaphragm and chest wall. Bharat and his surgical partners will receive referrals from medical oncologists, pulmonologists and other physicians who care for patients in the McHenry County area.

“Our goal is to provide unparalleled care of the highest quality to our patients, close to home,” Bharat said. “We are committed to providing the entire gamut of treatments for both simple and complex problems in the chest.”

“Our patients can have appointments and follow-up care in McHenry, and if they need specialized surgeries we perform them in Chicago. This approach provides patients the best of both worlds — convenience for appointments and access to highly advanced surgeries when they’re needed.”

Nick Rave, president of Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, said patients will benefit from the relationships between the physicians and hospital teams.

“Our patients want the peace of mind that they’re doing all they can to address their health issues,” Rave said. “By bringing these experienced thoracic surgeons to McHenry, we’re making it easier for people who are already balancing family life, work and a health diagnosis.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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Northwestern Medicine Partners with Caption Health to Introduce New Artificially Intelligent Ultrasound Systems into Clinical Practice

Northwestern Medicine Partners with Caption Health to Introduce New Artificially Intelligent Ultrasound Systems into Clinical Practice

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020

Northwestern Memorial Hospital First in Country to Adopt Caption AI in Multiple Clinical Settings

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the first hospital in the United States to purchase Caption Health’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology for ultrasound, Caption AI. The FDA cleared, AI-guided ultrasound system enables healthcare providers to acquire and interpret quality ultrasound images of the human heart, increasing access to timely and accurate cardiac assessments at the point of care.

Performing an ultrasound exam is a complex skill that takes years to master. Caption AI enables clinicians—including those without prior ultrasound experience—to quickly and accurately perform diagnostic-quality ultrasound exams by providing expert turn-by-turn guidance, automated quality assessment and intelligent interpretation capabilities. The systems are currently in the hospital’s emergency department, medical intensive care unit, cardio-oncology clinic and in use by the hospital medicine group.

“Through our partnership with Caption Health, we are looking to democratize the echocardiogram, a stalwart tool in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease,” said Patrick McCarthy, MD, chief of cardiac surgery and executive director of the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, a group involved in the early development of the technology. “Our ultimate goal is to improve cardiovascular health wherever we need to, and Caption AI is increasing access throughout the hospital to quality diagnostic images.”

Caption AI emulates the expertise of a sonographer by providing real-time guidance on how to position and manipulate the transducer, or ultrasound wand, on a patient’s body. The software shows clinicians in real time how close they are to acquiring a quality ultrasound image, and automatically records the image when it reaches the diagnostic-quality threshold. Caption AI also automatically calculates ejection fraction, or the percentage of blood leaving the heart when it contracts, which is the most widely used measurement to assess cardiac function.

“Northwestern Medicine has been a tremendous partner in helping us develop and validate Caption AI. We are thrilled that they are bringing Caption AI into key clinical settings as our first customer,” said Charles Cadieu, chief executive officer and co-founder of Caption Health. “The clinical, economic and operational advantages of using AI-guided ultrasound are clear. Most important, this solution increases access to a safe and effective diagnostic tool that can be life-saving for patients.”

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has a number of benefits. Increased usage of POCUS contributes to more timely and accurate diagnoses, more accurate monitoring and has been shown to lead to changes in patient management in 47% of cases for critically ill patients. POCUS also allows patients to avoid additional visits to receive imaging, as well as providing real-time results that can be recorded into a patient’s electronic medical record.

“I think the most exciting part is that Caption AI allows our intensive care unit (ICU) providers to do a point-of-care, real-time ultrasound for a sick patient,” said James “Mac”

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Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital offers MitraClip, an alternative treatment to open heart valve surgery

In patients with mitral regurgitation, the mitral valve does not close completely, allowing blood to flow backward or “leak” into the upper chamber of the heart, causing shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness. The debilitating condition can lead to congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, stroke or death.

Historically, patients with severe mitral regurgitation required open heart surgery. The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital is now offering Mitraclip, a minimally invasive procedure for patients who may not be able to tolerate surgery.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“As a national leader in transcatheter mitral valve treatment options, Northwestern Memorial Hospital has one of the highest-volume MitraClip programs in Illinois,” said Patrick McCarthy, MD, executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “By training our team at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, we are bringing advanced care to patients closer to where they live.”

During MitraClip implantation, a catheter is inserted through the femoral vein in the leg, up into the heart until it reaches the diseased mitral valve. The MitraClip implant is compressed and advanced along the guide wire so that it can be properly positioned to join or “clip” together a portion of the mitral valve, reducing or eliminating the backward flow of blood.

“Patients experience a noticeable difference in their symptoms and improved quality of life very quickly,” said Imran N. Ahmad, MD, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. “With the less invasive procedure, patients spend only 24 to 48 hours in the hospital, compared to about five days for an open heart procedure.”

William Lenschow, of Sycamore, was the first patient to undergo the MitraClip procedure at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. The 84 year-old farmer was so weak from his leaking mitral valve that he found it difficult to walk. Within two weeks of the procedure, Lenschow was back at work on his farm harvesting the soybean crop.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“Before the procedure I was so tired I slept more than I ever have in my life. I could only sit around and do nothing. I’ve never lived my life that way,” said Lenschow. “After the procedure, I felt better almost immediately. It feels good to be active and working again.”

Northwestern Memorial Hospital participated in the COAPT clinical trial, which found treatment with MitraClip leads to a reduction in hospitalizations for heart failure and death compared to medical therapy alone. As a result of these findings, the FDA approved MitraClip for patients with functional or secondary mitral regurgitation caused by diminished heart function

“Mitral valve disease is one of the most common valve disorder in the United States and one of the more difficult to treat,” said Jonathan Tomasko, MD, cardiac surgeon at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. “MitraClip arms us with another tool in

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