The burden of poorly diagnosed or untreated cardiovascular ailments is fairly high across the globe; but the statistics are even alarming in certain remote rural areas of developing countries. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteer sonographers and physicians who led the foundation of ASE Global: Focus on India Project. The group of doctors and sonographers utilized handheld echocardio scanners to assess cardiovascular health in over a 1000 patients in a remote area of rural India. These volunteers were helped by healthcare professionals from around the globe to read the images in order to draw conclusive inferences.  The efforts of these ambitious healthcare leaders have paid off and the team now have some strong numbers that could verify the viability and potential influence of their venture.

Volunteer sonographers and doctors who flew out to India for the task, screened more than 1000 subjects utilizing handheld scanners, then transferred pictures to a “cloud,” where they were received, retrieved and assessed by experienced doctors in other participating nations. For medical services specialists who took an interest in the assignment, it was instantly clear that they were sighting a high burden of untreated and frequently undiagnosed cardiovascular ailments.

Approximately 25 percent of all the study participants were diagnosed with valvular disease, with the frequency of mitral valve stenosis or regurgitation being the highest abnormality (about 8 percent) followed by severe valve disease in about 1 percent.  Left ventricular hypertrophy was diagnosed in 7 percent of the patients, with 11 instances of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, while an extra 7 percent of the patients were identified with left ventricular regional wall-motion irregularities or systolic dysfunction.

Overall, 1% of all the patients who underwent screening were diagnosed (for the first time) with innate heart lesions, plus 12 patients with atrial or ventricular septal imperfections, 3 with patent ductus arteriosus, 1 with double outlet right ventricle, 2 with tetralogy of fallot and 2 with Eisenmenger disorder.