The VITAL process helped launch HeartFlow®, a revolutionary technology that helps doctors diagnose and treat heart blockages.

of angiograms avoided
(6 months post intervention)2


cost savings (6 months post intervention)2


adverse events from canceled angiograms2

Improved patient experiences

  • 61% of patients avoided an invasive angiogram3
  • Similar revascularization rates4
  • Zero adverse clinical events among patients whose angiogram was canceled5
  • 26% cost reduction compared to usual care testing for patients with suspected coronary artery disease6
Dr. Moneal Shah

Real Benefits for Clinicians

“VITAL was instrumental because, originally, I thought I’d have to convince my administration to adopt HeartFlow®. For me, as one person, it might have been very challenging to make the case for it. But to have the backing of VITAL and their support in the pilot made it much easier. VITAL gave us the perfect avenue to put this technology into practice. Any time we can prevent unnecessary procedures, especially invasive procedures like heart catheterizations, that reduces risks for the patient. The associated healthcare savings also are a plus.”

Moneal Shah, MD – Clinical Lead
Allegheny Health Network Cardiologist

A VITAL collaboration

Because of VITAL's collaboration with HeartFlow, Inc. and Allegheny Health Network clinicians, doctors now can have sophisticated 3-D modeling tools at their fingertips. HeartFlow® analysis improves the patient experience because it allows them to avoid more invasive testing for blockages. And it’s been shown to significantly improve quality of life.1

HeartFlow® uses images from standard coronary CT angiograms (cCTAs) to create personalized digital 3-D models of each patient’s coronary arteries. Using advanced computer algorithms to solve millions of complex equations, the technology determines a “fractional flow reserve” for all the arteries, which assesses the impact of blockages on blood flow.

This information helps physicians decide the best treatment for each patient.


Successful collaboration led to changes to medical policy as of February 2018.

1Hlatky et al. Quality-of-Life and Economic Outcomes of Assessing Fractional Flow Reserve With Computed Tomography Angiography: PLATFORM. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;66(21):2315 – 23.\z

2Based on VITAL project test results.

3, 4Douglas et al. Clinical outcomes of fractional flow reserve by computed tomographic angiography-guided diagnostic strategies vs. usual care in patients with suspected coronary artery disease: the prospective longitudinal trial of FFRCT:outcome and resource impacts study. Eur Heart J. 2015;36(47):3359 – 67.

5Douglas, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 68:435 – 45.

6Data on file. In the PLATFORM Trial, the mean one-year per-patient cost for the usual care strategy was $12,145 compared to the $8,127 cost for the HeartFlow-guided strategy, a cost reduction of 33 percent. Not reported in the study results, mean costs remained 26 percent lower among the HeartFlow-guided patients than among usual care patients ($9,036 vs. $12,145,p<0.0001) when factoring in the $1,500 cost of the HeartFlow Analysis.