Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of illness and death in the Western world.
The Israel Heart Society, founded 60 years ago, aims to improve the life expectancy and quality of life of heart patients in Israel.
Israeli cardiology has attained great achievements, placing Israel in the global forefront of clinical care quality, prevention and revolutionary research in the field of cardiovascular disease.
At the same time, and in conjunction with the Israeli hi-tech industry, Israel has pioneered the development of unique and innovative medical devices, such as stents, defibrillators and heart valves. The development of such devices has helped cure millions of people around the world and has established Israel as a world leader in the field of cardiology.
Prof. Chaim Lotan MD, FACC, FESC
President, Israel Heart Society
A stent is a tiny metal device that supports the arterial walls following catheterization in order to ensure free blood flow.
A unique stent was developed in Israel in 1992, which combined a high degree of flexibility with optimal and continual support of the arterial walls over time, features that have become standard in the global stent industry.
A production process that enables the simultaneous production of large numbers of stents in a quick, efficient assembly line with a high level of quality control was also developed in Israel, as opposed to the slow, individual and costly process, that was used by the global stent industry.
Today, millions of stents that were developed and manufactured in Israel are implanted in patients around the world, immediately improving their quality of life.
Dr. Judith Richter (CEO) and Dr. Kobi Richter (Chairman), Medinol
In 1966, following the death of his medical mentor due to cardiac arrhythmia, Dr. Michel Mirowski came up with the idea of the implantable defibrillator. At that time, the only way to treat life-threatening arrhythmia was through electric shock administered by an external defibrillator. Thus, only patients who were in the ICU could be saved and it was difficult to imagine that those large devices could be miniaturized into implants. Over the years, Dr. Mirowski developed an implantable defibrillator, first in Israel and later in the U.S. His initial experiment was conducted on dogs and it shocked the cardiology world when his invention proved to be efficient. The first device was implanted in 1980 and since then hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved thanks to those devices and their successors.
Dr. Guy Amit
Percutaneous heart valve
For some people suffering from the heart valve disease called severe aortic stenosis, traditional open-heart surgery poses too great a risk or is not an option. Without surgery, these patients face rapidly declining health and an increased risk of death. Israeli engineers, working with colleagues around the world, invented a less invasive treatment for these patients: transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR has enabled heart valve replacement in tens of thousands of people, utilizing a catheter inserted into a small incision in the leg or chest. Researchers in Israel continue to lead the world in innovative heart valve therapies to serve future patients.
Assaf Bash, CEO Edwards Lifesciences (Israel), Ltd.