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Economy

Aga Khan unveils 3D tech-based treatment for Coast heart patients

Medical practitioners at the Aga Khan Hospital
Medical practitioners at the Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa during a procedure at the Cath Lab on October 16, 2019. The hospital now uses advanced 3D technology, GPRS and Artificial intelligence for treatment of heart rhythm diseases. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG 

The Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa has launched a three-dimensional (3D) technology to boost treatment of heart rhythm patients.

Thursday, the hospital used 3D mapping cardiac electrophysiology (EP) system to conduct surgeries on two patients.

Aga Khan Hospital Medical Director Twahir Hemed said the facility was focusing on oncology and cardiology because the ailments are a burden to households in the Coast.

“Nairobi has invested in several cart labs, forcing us to refer our patients for treatment to the capital city. But we have now bridged that huge gap after we invested in our own cart lab. The 3D technology will make medical procedure comprehensive, we are specialising in heart rhythm disease,” Dr Hemed said.

The technology is used to convert a patient’s CT scans into a 3D printed replica of the heart, enabling doctors to do their pre-surgical planning and the actual surgery with ease.

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Heart specialists often bet on the technology to boost the safety of the patients, having already understood the intricacies of the actual heart in a 3D print.

The use of the technology by Aga Khan makes Kenya second after South Africa to use 3D treat heart rhythm patients in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Hemed said some people are born with abnormal heart rhythms, hindering their professions. Specialised treatment is required to correct the abnormal heart rhythm, he added.

“For instance, pilots and soldiers. Every six months pilots have to undergo a thorough routine medical check-up. If you have an abnormal heart rhythm you are grounded, you can’t fly a plane,” explained Dr Hemed.

The installation of the system is an investment between Dr Mohamed Salim and the Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa. The specialist heads the heart rhythm division at the hospital.

“To avoid heart problems, counter-check your lifestyle, how you eat, you must exercise and keep away from stressful things,” said Dr Hemed.

The five-hour procedure would cost a patient Sh1.3 million. Total expenses for the same treatment in India including air ticket could hit Sh2 million.

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