In-silico pre-clinical trials for implantable cardioverter defibrillators

TitleIn-silico pre-clinical trials for implantable cardioverter defibrillators
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsJiang, Zhihao, Abbas Houssam, Jang Kuk Jin, Beccani Marco, Liang Jackson, Dixit Sanjay, and Mangharam Rahul
Conference NameEngineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2016 IEEE 38th Annual International Conference of the

Regulatory authorities require that the safety and efficacy of a new high-risk medical device be proven in a Clinical Trial (CT), in which the effects of the device on a group of patients are compared to the effects of the current standard of care. Phase III trials can run for several years, cost millions of dollars, and expose patients to an unproven device. In this paper, we demonstrate how to use a large group of synthetic patients based on computer modeling to improve the planning of a CT so as to increase the chances of a successful trial for implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). We developed a computer model of the electrical generation and propagation in the heart. This model was used to generate a large group of heart instances capable of producing episodes of 19 different arrhythmias. We also implemented two arrhythmia detection algorithms from the literature: Rhythm ID from Boston Scientific and PR Logic + Wavelet from Medtronic. Using this setup, we conducted multiple in-silico trials to compare the ability of the two algorithms to appropriately discriminate between potentially fatal Ventricular Tachy-arrhythmias (VT) and nonfatal Supra-Ventricular Tachy-arrhythmias (SVTs). The results of our in-silico trial indicate that Rhythm ID was less able to discriminate between SVT and VT and so may lead to more cases of inappropriate therapy. This corroborates the findings of the Rhythm ID Going Head to Head Trial (RIGHT), a clinical trial that compared the two algorithms in patients. We further demonstrated that the result continues to hold if we vary the distribution of arrhythmias in the synthetic population. We also used the same in-silico cohort to explore the sensitivity of the outcome to different parameter settings of the device algorithms, which is not feasible in a real clinical trial. In-silico trials can provide early insight into the factors which affect the outcome of a CT at a fraction of the cost and duration and without the ethical issues.