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Cardiologists, Choose Your Weapons Wisely!

heart wrenchWhen all else fails, keep it simple. Isn’t this what we have been told since childhood? It seems that some cardiologists have gone back to this basic philosophy when it comes to diagnosing heart disease. Dr Martha Gulati, a cardiologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center where she specializes in women’s heart disease, says that it is “simple stuff” like an exercise stress test that can “catch blockages and predict hypertension” that other more high-tech tests sometimes miss. She says that using an exercise stress test in a recent case allowed her to “find significant disease” that other tests like an MRI completely missed.

Certainly, there are benefits for both methods. The idea of revisiting a proven method that has been replaced by technology that was possibly never designed to capture the same type of information can make medical sense. However, we wonder if this “organic” approach has overlooked some of the good technology that is out there. For example, we couldn’t help but notice the manual method Dr. Gulati used for capturing blood pressure (BP). While we understand the value of going basic, an automated method of collecting BP data, designed specifically for use with exercise stress testing, could provide even more valuable information. Automated BP also allows the clinician the ability to focus on the patient. Sometimes advanced technology can bring something valuable to the table and as more and more devices become available, it becomes important for doctors and researchers to stay abreast of the advantages and drawbacks of each new tool. That is no small task!

What are your thoughts on this matter?


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