Monday 18th December 2017

Last week Heart Valve Voice CEO Wil Woan visited The North-West Heart Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and met with Keith Pearce, the new president of the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE). The two discussed the possibility of both organisations forming a partnership in 2018 as echocardiography or ‘echo’ plays such a key role in the valve disease patient’s pathway.

The BSE represents all levels and all different types of health professionals working in echocardiography from all over the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Europe the Middle and Far East, North and South America and Africa. The society has over 3,500 members and is the largest cardiovascular imaging society in Europe. The BSE holds an annual clinical and scientific meeting each autumn, as well as regular training throughout the year at multiple sites across the UK. The aims of the society include the protection and preservation of health and the effective relief of sickness by promoting best practice in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, through education, training, and robust accreditation for both individuals and departments.

An echocardiogram is a powerful diagnostic investigation which provides key information enabling the doctors to make the diagnosis of valve disease and quantify the severity. Unfortunately, there are a number of challenges to the both clinicians and patients such there being a wide variation in availability across the UK meaning some areas have less or no access to echocardiography and there is an inadequate number of professionals trained to deliver the tests. Heart Valve Voice and the BSE want to work collaboratively to increase awareness of the importance of echocardiography in the life of the patient with valve disease, increase availability, and ensure more consistency to access.

In 2018, BSE has committed to support Heart Valve Voice in raising awareness of valve disease and timely diagnosis through echocardiography via a series of media campaigns so follow the Heart Valve Voice news over the coming weeks and months. Discussions are already underway about Heart Valve Voice's second annual EuroPCR London to Paris cycle ride in May and yearly testing events in large public arenas. Keith is also keen to get the BSE involved in some of the charity's Regional Best Practice Summit work where they can bring their expertise to help clinicians learn more about the best techniques for diagnosing valve disease.

In return, Heart Valve Voice will help the BSE connect to patients, clinicians and clinical trainees by organising various echocardiography training and informational events to help provide education on the latest advancements in technology and practice.

This is a very exciting partnership and both organisations are looking forward what 2018 will bring.