“The way to a man's heart is through his stomach”, says an old proverb, but according to our observations, the best access to the heart is somewhat downwards from the stomach. This observation was made as our Biodesign team, Alexis (Medical doctor, international bestseller novelist, and film director), Aki (entrepreneurial engineer) and myself (like Aki, but older and with a philosophical twist), spent some interesting times at the HUS interventional cardiology department.
Actually, and to be precise, the most common route to the heart nowadays is through the wrist (transradial), but access through the femoral artery (“downwards from stomach”) is sometimes needed - especially if something like the aortic valve is replaced percutaneously.
All in all it was quite an experience to observe modern percutaneous cardiac operations including emergency angiographies, ablations, aortic valve replacements and septal disclosures, while considering possible improvements, new technologies and potential innovations. It was also our pleasure to see that patients were well taken care of.
Beside many cool procedures and technologies, I was impressed by something that could be called “cool professionalism”. That professionalism extended beyond pure medical treatments to vendor management and efficiency, to name a few. One telling example was listening to a casual conversation where a nurse told her peers how she had applied principles of lean management at home to get her son to football practice, back home and to bed – just in time. Wow.
A final remark – one relating to love. I learned that there is something called Takoshubo cardiomyopathy – also known as “broken heart syndrome” (please do your googling for further information). This means that broken love may literally lead to a broken heart. Maybe there is a need for better tools within interventional cardiology to tackle this, or maybe not. We need to keep on thinking.
Let’s see where our observations will lead us - hopefully to something unforeseen.