April 8, 2019

Sharon Regional Medical Center Adopts HeartFlow Analysis, a Novel Diagnostic Tool for Heart Disease

Sharon Regional Medical Center announced today that it is the first health care facility in the area to adopt the HeartFlow Analysis, a first-of-its-kind non-invasive technology to aid physicians in the diagnoses of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease. 

CAD is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.1 CAD develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow or become blocked, which may lead to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Despite being the most common form of heart disease, studies have shown there is a need to improve how CAD is evaluated and diagnosed. Many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting CAD. Additionally, a recent study found more than half of patients with suspected CAD who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram (ICA) had no need for intervention, since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the procedure.2

“Historically, we have been faced with using tests that have predictive values less than 80%, which often results in a patient having an invasive procedure just to determine whether they have blockage which would benefit from a balloon angioplasty, stent or surgery to restore blood flow,” said Dr. J Ronald Mikolich, a Cardiologist on staff at Sharon Regional.  “The HeartFlow Analysis completely changes this paradigm, providing essential information that can help us determine the right approach for a patient through a convenient, non-invasive platform.” 

The HeartFlow Analysis takes data from a patient’s non-invasive coronary artery CT scan and leverages deep learning (artificial intelligence) to create a personalized, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. It then uses powerful computer algorithms to assess the impact of blockages on blood flow to the heart. Within hours, the HeartFlow Analysis is provided to the patient’s physician via a secure web interface and provides information on the extent of a patient’s arterial blockage and the impact the blockage has on blood flow to the heart. 

“We are excited to be the first health system in the area to offer the HeartFlow Analysis technology that will help to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient with coronary artery disease without the need for unnecessary and stressful procedures,” Joseph Hugar, president and CEO of Sharon Regional Medical Center stated. “This technology will be beneficial for our patients as it allows them to stay in the local community to receive this game-changing technology that is typically only available at larger systems.”

The HeartFlow Analysis has been used for nearly 30,000 patients with suspected heart disease. Additionally, in clinical trials, using the HeartFlow Analysis helped identify which patients do and do not need invasive treatment.3 The use of the HeartFlow Analysis also reduced the cost of care by 26% compared to usual care.4 

The testing will be available at the Diagnostic and Imaging Center located at 2435 Garden Way in Hermitage and at Sharon Regional Medical Center in Sharon.  For more information, contact Sharon Regional Medical Center at 724-983-7474 or visit

1 American Heart Association. 
2 Patel, et al., Am Heart J 2014; 167:846-852.e2. 
3 Douglas, et al., Euro Heart J 2015. 
4 Douglas, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 68:435-45