HeartFlow Survey: Fewer than 1/3 of Americans Know Biggest Health Threat
New Consumer Survey Data Reveals Striking Misconceptions around Heart Health, Medical
Anxieties and More
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - February 7, 2019 - HeartFlow, Inc. today announced the findings of
a new consumer survey of more than 1,500 adults across the United States that sheds light on
dangerous misconceptions and lack of awareness around heart disease, the leading killer in the
U.S. The research shows that while most people are optimistic about new health innovations,
anxieties and fear may prevent people from seeking effective treatment for their heart health.
Mortal Misconceptions
Over 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year according to the Centers for Disease
Control; that’s nearly 1 in every 4 deaths, yet a startling percentage of Americans are unaware
of this enormous health risk. According to the HeartFlow survey, only 29 percent of respondents
know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death. The remaining 71 percent believe that
health threats such as cancer, drug use, or vehicular accidents, among other factors, claim the
most lives.
The findings also demonstrate a significant lack of knowledge on women’s susceptibility to heart
disease. Half (50 percent) of Americans mistakenly believe that breast cancer is the leading
killer of women, when, in fact, it is heart disease. An analysis of the female responses reveals
that awareness isn’t much greater among women themselves: 46 percent of female
respondents think breast cancer kills most women, while only 41 percent know that heart
disease claims the most lives.
“We are aiming to raise awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both
women and men. It’s not just a man’s disease, as commonly thought,” said Campbell Rogers,
M.D., Chief Medical Officer, HeartFlow. “The symptoms for women are often different than the
classic ‘clutching of the heart’, so it’s important for both women and men to visit their doctor if
something doesn’t seem right.”
Avoidance and Anxieties
One potential factor in today’s heart disease epidemic may be patients’ wariness to visit their
physician. Despite 42 percent of Americans knowing they have a family history of heart disease
and another 77 percent admitting to worrying about their heart health, most (67 percent) have
never sought diagnosis or treatment.
Specific to cardiac care, the most common dread (30 percent) is misdiagnosis or a completely
missed diagnosis. This fear is understandable, given that many diagnostic tests have accuracy
lower than a coin toss. However, many of today’s technologies are improving accuracy
drastically. For example, the HeartFlow Analysis provides the highest diagnostic performance
available from a non-invasive test.1
Technology’s Changing Tide
Fortunately for patients, improved diagnosis and treatment pathways are possible with emerging
medical technologies. One such innovation is the HeartFlow Analysis, a non-invasive
personalized cardiac test that leverages deep learning and highly trained analysts to create a
digital 3D model of a patient’s coronary arteries to help clinicians identify the best treatment
pathway for each patient.
The survey suggests that consumers are becoming more comfortable with new technologies,
with 78 percent of people indicating they trust artificial intelligence technology to assist doctors
with their tasks. Additionally, 78 percent think a combination of technology and human analysis
results in the most accurate diagnosis, over either alone. In their everyday lives, 24 percent say
they use an app to monitor their health.
“At HeartFlow, we firmly believe that technology will play an integral role in changing patient
care for the better,” said John H. Stevens, M.D., President and CEO, HeartFlow. “However, the
physician’s role in the patient journey is crucial and we expect to see the best care administered
only when doctors and technology work hand in hand.”
For more information on heart health and heart disease awareness, please visit HeartFlow’s
Matters of the Heart page for additional resources.
This online survey had 1,513 total respondents. It was fielded from November 23 to December
1, 2018, by HeartFlow and Researchscape. Results were weighted to be representative of the
U.S. population.
About HeartFlow, Inc.
HeartFlow, Inc. is a medical technology company redefining the way heart disease is diagnosed
and treated. Our non-invasive HeartFlow(R) FFRct Analysis leverages deep learning to create a
personalized 3D model of the heart. By using this model, clinicians can better evaluate the
impact a blockage has on blood flow and determine the best treatment for patients. Our
technology is reflective of our Silicon Valley roots and incorporates decades of scientific
evidence with the latest advances in artificial intelligence. The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is
commercially available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. For more information,
visit www.heartflow.com.
Media Contact:
Jennie Kim
1 Nørgaard, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014; Driessen, et al. Presented at EuroPCR 2018.