Could Computer Models predict life threatening Heart issues?

Physiologic and Engineering techniques are combined to provide personalized treatments for each patient to predict long-term results. A simpler way to visualize the idea is by imagining that, the doctor pulls up a virtual model of the patient’s heart on the computer and treats it with several drugs and a few moments later, she would be able to see how the heart is doing five years down the road.

The Study

A couple of researchers from The University of Kentucky Kenneth Campbell and Jonathan Wenk are working on building a multiscale simulation of heart by allowing the computer model to use MRI or Genetic data of the patients. They are granted a 3-million-dollar fund by The National Institute of Health.

The novelty of this treatment is that the researchers are trying to find out how the Heart grows over the months and years after taking a pill or undergoing genetic mutation. Thus, this model is expected to have tremendous predictive power, meaning it will change and adapt in response to treatment or disease.

With Wenk’s engineering skills and proficiency in organ-level function and Campbell’s expertise in medicine and molecular-level function, they are among the first to incorporate the effects of genetic mutations into a model of the heart. The team also includes collaborators at Michigan State University and Pennsylvania State University, who will specifically aim to better understand familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic mutation and the most frequently inherited heart defect that affects about 700,000 Americans.

The Benefits

The computer model will enable the researchers to test how and why certain genes are causing the heart to grow. And if they understand this, they will be able to intervene in that pathway and potentially reverse the abnormal growth. Also, for doctors, this is another tool that could guide them in their decision process.


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[2] Researchers working towards developing computer model for predicting heart health. (2017, October 17). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from

[3] Computer can detect your metabolic syndrome. (2016, March 25). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from


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