Dear Readers, Medical science in practice has always been closely dependent on prevailing economic, social, and cultural conditions. This was true in ancient times and has remained true until the present day. Never before, though, has that science shown such rapid advances, while at the same time being so crucially tied to costs, priorities, and political choices. Inevitably, therefore, the rational mana

EU News

Author: Dervla Gleeson Managing Editor The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is the European Union's (EU) main instrument for funding research in Europe. Running from 2007 to 2013, it will execute a budget during that period of €50.5 billion and an additional Euratom budget for the next five years of €2.7 billion. FP7 is designed to support research in se

"Bridging the unacceptable gap between what is recommended and what is achieved in daily practice regarding the prevention of cardiovascular disease" is how Prof Guy De Backer, Chairman of the CVD Prevention Committee of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), summarises the aim of the European Summit on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Creating incentives for people to make healthy choices in every

Cover Story: ESC Guidelines and Their Implementations

Nobody will argue against the usefulness of the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) guidelines. Firstly, it is acknowledged worldwide that ESC guidelines have a great scientific value. Secondly, following these recommendations saves patient lives, which is our ultimate goal. The ESC also has a unique structure, which provides the opportunity to produce good documents. Guidelines are now a core activit

Despite the implementation of several clinical guidelines, current strategies for the assessment of syncope vary widely among physicians and hospitals. Evaluation and treatment of syncope is often haphazard and unstratified. This results in the inappropriate use of diagnostic tests and in a number of misdiagnosed and still unexplained syncope. The utilisation of medical resources and the expenses associat

As heart failure (HF) emerges as one of the key problems of modern cardiology, numerous articles are being published that report novel and intriguing results. The next step is to select findings with irrefutable clinical impact, based on large, randomised, clinical trials and to further implement them into clinical practice. Therefore, in order to help physicians treating HF patients, it is crucial to deve

Healthcare Economics

The fundamental principle of economic analysis is that choices have to be made between alternative uses of resources, as there is a finite pool of resources with which to provide all medical care possible to each individual. This principle is not debated. By providing estimates of outcomes and costs, these analyses illustrate the tradeoffs involved in choosing among a variety of clinical interventions to p

Country Focus: Cardiology in Greece

The Greek healthcare system is characterised by the coexistence of a National Health System (NHS), compulsory social insurance and a strong voluntary private healthcare system. The NHS provides universal coverage to the population and in addition, the entire population is covered by social insurance funds and 15% of the population maintains complementary voluntary health insurance coverage, which, together

The Hellenic Cardiological Society (HCS) was founded in Athens on September 7, 1948, and has been closely linked to the history of cardiology in Greece. The HCS is also one of the 14 founding members of the European Society of Cardiology. The HCS is a scientific, non-profit making association. Initially it had 29 members but the number since has risen to more than 2,000. The vast majority of members are car

Cardiovascular diseases, as the primary cause of mortality and morbidity, have increasingly necessitated the expansion and development of new methods of cardiovascular care. Moreover, practical skills have evolved dramatically in three new areas; echocardiography, electrophysiology and interventional cardiology. Thus, the modern cardiologist is faced with a great expanse of theoretical knowledge in which he

Cardiology Leaders

Please Tell Us About Your Background in the Field of Cardiology. I graduated from the University of Athens Medical School in 1971 and during my undergraduate studies, I had the chance to attend subspecialty rotations, during which I was captivated by exciting advances in the field of cardiology. I was particularly inspired by the development of invasive cardiology. It was my belief that cardiology would

Biotechnology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Computer applications are indispensable tools in cardiology today for digital image acquisition, deployment and reviewing, and also for documentation, dose reporting, quality assurance and exam scheduling in the Cardiology Information System (CIS). Image archiving systems (PACS) and electronic patient records reduce the required amount of time to access relevant patient information. Furthermore, billing in

Over the past 12 months, there has been a rapid and widespread introduction of remote monitoring systems by most manufacturers of implantable cardiac devices. While there are differences in these systems, the underlying premise and benefits to patients and healthcare providers are similar. For many years, there have been remote transtelephonic systems to assess pacemaker battery life, but the new generation

Managing cross-departmental communications in a healthcare setting has been greatly improved by the emergence of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) as a vital supporting infrastructure, with specialists in healthcare departments like orthopaedics, neurology, oncology, histology and cardiology improving their communication and therefore patient wellbeing. The integration of all clinical spe

Long-term Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) was initially used in clinical practice to bridge patients in end-stage heart failure through to heart transplantation. Rapid developments have, however, led to the use of newer generation devices that promise to minimise the morbidity and mortality associated with their use and to improve the quality of life of patients. This article uncovers the expanding ro

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of mortality in the industrial world. Cardiac imaging is essential to establish the diagnosis and severity of CAD and to determine the potential risk of future cardiovascular events. In patients with suspected CAD, evaluation of patient history will reveal the presence of cardiac risk factors and typical symptoms. An ECG should be performed in all patients

Industry News

US FDA Advises Caution on Baxter's Multiple-Dose Vial Heparin Baxter Healthcare Corporation has temporarily stopped manufacturing multiple-dose vials of the injectable blood-thinning drug heparin due to reports of serious allergic reactions and hypotension in patients who receive high bolus doses of the drug. Adverse events have not been seen in other uses of heparin involving lower doses or administra

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