Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the No. 1 killer in Thailand, causing about 70,000 deaths annually. The number of CAD deaths has also been rising every year here. It is therefore important that new treatment methods be invented for better results.
The Bumrungrad International Hospital ranks among several Thai medical services providers with strong commitment to develop increasingly effective treatments. After about eight years of serious researches, the Bumrungrad International Hospital has set up its “Heart Institute”.
At the helm of this institute is Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee, who started using CFAE ablation for constant and temporary arrhythmia in Asia. The director of the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute has adopted a model used by the Pacific Rim Electrophysiology Research Institute in Los Angeles, the United States.
Researches, Technologies and Teamwork for World-Class Treatments
Prof. Dr. Koonlawee, who heads both the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute in Thailand and the Pacific Rim Electrophysiology Research Institute in Los Angeles, the United States, told The Story Thailand that the Heart Institute was established with aim to give patients access to efficient treatments. This medical specialist has explained that heart is a key organ. If the heart malfunctions, other organs will be adversely affected. A malfunctioning heart can lead to many other diseases such as chronic kidney failures, strokes, and thrombosis. Researches, in his view, provide a crucial foundation for the development of medical innovations that can help patients with complicated health conditions.
Guided by the vision of its executives, the Bumrungrad International Hospital has stepped up research & development for its Heart Institute for about eight years already in pursuit of the goals to establish itself as a regional heart-care hub and to lead Thai private hospitals in bringing their treatments to international standards.
Not only that the Bumrungrad International Hospital started using the CFAE ablation technique of the Pacific Rim Electrophysiology Research Institute in Los Angeles, the United States, but it has also developed the technique further. More researches have been conducted to explore the possibilities of developing new and more effective treatments. The hospital truly aims to install its Heart Institute as a center of medical excellence in the field of not just arrhythmia but also all other heart conditions. The Heart Institute has thus focused on researches as well as the constant development of medical technologies.
The Bumrungrad International Hospital’s strength also lies with its “teamwork”. Collaborating closely together is a research team that has developed the efficient storage of patient information, a technology-development team, and a medical team. The medical team has brought together specialists from many subspecialties, solidly embraced team approach and demonstrated multi-organ involvement for the goals of ensuring patients’ maximum safety and enabling patients to enjoy better quality of life with their family.
Moreover, the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute has worked with the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and various universities in Whole Genome Sequencing researches in hopes that findings will enable the efficient analyses of DNAs and early detection of any disease.
The Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute is in essence much more than a medical services provider, because it is also a hub of medical knowledge. Brought under its wings are researchers, medical specialists, and medical technologists who seek to innovate increasingly effective treatments for heart diseases. The Heart Institute hopes that each of its researches will be used for patients’ better care based on internationally-recognized standard.
Prof. Dr. Koonlawee revealed that the Heart Institute has already successfully created various new treatment methods. Among them is the prevention of Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome with ablation to adhesions on right ventricle’s surface. During the experiments, patients received free medical services and contributed to the efforts to develop a new effective medical service. As the experiments proved successful, Thai researchers became the first in the world to invent this novel therapeutic method.
Another successful case study by the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute surrounds the use of Cardio Insight for the diagnosis of arrhythmia. The center is the first institute in Thailand and the third in the world to have adopted the approach. Aside, the Heart Institute is the first institute in not just Thailand but also the whole Asia to deploy CFAE ablation for the treatment of constant and temporary arrhythmia. The successful deployment of this technique has attracted educational visits by many, including experts from Japan, Europe, and the United States.
The director of the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute has revealed that his center has adopted the patient-centric approach and designed a customized treatment program based exactly on the symptoms of each patient and their causes. Continued care is available for patients right from diagnoses, to the identification of causes, and to treatment-program planning. Not only that the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute has prescribed medicines and deployed new medical techniques and equipment, but it has also considered changing patients’ behaviors for optimum results. The Heart Institute is capable of administering therapeutic stimulation, performing heart transplants, and conducting DNA analyses to detect the risks of three groups of diseases namely cardiac arrhythmia, aortic aneurysm, and heart failure ahead of their outbreak. Backed by efficient analyses, patients will be able to properly plan their lifestyles and prevent congenital heart diseases.
The Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute delivers comprehensive care for the health of hearts, including treatments for coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failures, cardiomyopathy, structural heart issues, congenital heart diseases, as well as preventive cardiology. Also, the Heart Institute has promoted activities to strengthen heart functions.
For patients with complicated conditions or the need for advanced treatments, the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute has a multidisciplinary team and medical specialists to tend to their cases. Included are cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, physiologists, pharmacists, nurses, and nutritionists. Moreover, the Bumrungrad International Hospital has operated Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) to take care of heart-disease patients in critical conditions. CCU is also in charge of giving round-the-clock care to patients who have just got a heart transplant so as to ensure their fast recovery.
Riding Digital Health Trend
The director of the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute said in the face of increasingly-advanced medical technologies in the digital realm, digital health has become a growing trend. Driving medical industry, Digital Health has spanned across medical-data analyses, storage of big data for medical-research purposes, the efficient management of electronic medical records, telemedicine, online drug prescription, innovations to detect diseases at their onset, and health applications that help patients with basic healthcare.
Prof. Dr. Koonlawee has expected increasingly advanced technologies to play a role in the medical industry. For example, he believes that artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will in the future support preventive-medicine analyses based on whole genome sequencing, which is constructive and useful. Accurate predictions of illnesses that will likely emerge enable doctors and patients to design healthy behavioral changes and treatment programs in advance. With the help of technologies, patients will also be able to directly access key information or even details anytime, anywhere. Such access will finally allow them to make better treatment decisions.
The full medical transformation will materialize not just with the constant use of medical innovations but also efforts to explore new and increasingly effective treatment methods. The development of new therapy mainly comes from researches that demonstrated satisfactory results. Actual use cases from research findings can be shared with Thai as well as foreign doctors to help as many people as possible.
Commitment to Medical Excellence
According to Prof. Dr. Koonlawee, the Heart Institute at Bumrungrad International Hospital has been committed to achieving medical excellence since its inception. As a result, the institute has always been focused on research and development, constantly striving to develop better treatments for heart disease patients. In 2023, the Heart Institute plans to continue expanding its medical staff, remaining dedicated to its goals, and collaborating with other medical institutions that share its values.
Prof. Dr. Koonlawee has dedicated over 30 years of his expertise and world-class knowledge to the Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Heart Institute. He has shared his techniques and know-how, helping to elevate the medical excellence of the institute and educate medical students and doctors from around the world. The Heart Institute has become a hub of learning, providing training to support the development of the medical industry both in Thailand and abroad, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for patients.