Using mathematics to treat the heart


The Health Technology Day was held at the University for the fourth year running this week. The topic of the day was the clinical use of mathematical  modelling for treatment of the heart. The Health Technology day is supported by Heilbrigðistæknifélag Íslands, (Medical Technology Association of Iceland) the University of Reykjavik and the National Hospital of Iceland.

Dr. Olaf Dössel, a professor from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, spoke about mathematical models he has developed which describe the shape, movement and electrical activity in the heart. These models have a variety of uses for contributing to the treatment of heart conditions.  For example through these models it is possible to predict where to burn conduction paths within the heart to stop the arrhythmic actions and make the heart more effective.

The models were constructed through CT scans and the recording of electrical activity in the heart. By simulating the electrical activity of the heart researchers can see where conduction disturbances occur and then different burn locations can be tested by the simulation model. Thus we can find the smallest possible combustion which adjusts irregularities.

Among the other speakers was Bjarni Torfason, University Hospital and University of Iceland, Ceaon Ramon, RU and University of Washington, Magnus Kjartan Gislason,RU, Halldór Jónsson, from the University Hospital, and Paolo Gargiulo, RU and the University Hospital.