AdventHealth at forefront of groundbreaking device for heart failure patients

Barostim Neo device Virtual Rendering

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 27, 2020 — A new device that uses the power of the brain and nervous system to fight cardiovascular disease is giving new hope to the millions of Americans suffering from heart failure. Physicians at AdventHealth Orlando, who are among the earliest in the U.S. selected to use the Barostim Neo, say the pacemaker-like device is among the greatest advancements in treating heart failure, which costs the U.S. more than $30 million annually.

The Barostim Neo works to combat heart failure using neuromodulation — a growing trend in medical therapy that uses impulses from the brain to trigger physiological changes in the body. As the first neuromodulation device used to fight cardiovascular disease, the Barostim Neo stimulates a group of cells called baroreceptors to balance the body’s out-of-control fight or flight response when the heart is overstimulated.

A three-phase clinical trial concluded that patients implanted with the Barostim Neo had improved blood pressure, heart rate and quality of life. These patients were more likely to return to their normal lives — exercising, going to work and participating in hobbies as they once did before being diagnosed.

Dr. Nirav Raval, medical director of thoracic transplant at AdventHealth Transplant Institute, is the principal investigator for the study for AdventHealth. He was on the ground floor of the device’s development, first getting involved in early 2012.

“Investments in research and novel technologies are improving lives in ways we’ve never seen before,” Raval said. “With a growing number of Americans suffering with heart failure, it’s become increasingly important to develop less invasive, cost-effective devices to extend lives. The Barostim Neo is a step in that direction — improving heart failure to give patients the ability to enjoy better quality of life for a longer period of time.”

AdventHealth Orlando is the highest enrolling trial site in Florida, and the team has implanted four Barostim Neo devices to date. The hospital’s cardiovascular program treats more cardiovascular surgery patients than any other hospital in the state, according to the American Health Care Association.

“The Barostim Neo gave me my life back,” said Eric Berkowitz, a patient in the clinical trial at AdventHealth Orlando. “The device allows me to walk a two-mile track with my dog without panting and once again participate in the activities I’ve always enjoyed.”

Currently, the only way to receive the Barostim Neo is through an ongoing trial. For more information about the device, visit www.beathf.com.

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About AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division:

Founded in 1908 by pioneering Seventh-day Adventists who believed in whole-person health — healing the body, mind and spirit — AdventHealth has grown into one of the largest nonprofit hospitals in the country, caring for more than two million patient visits per year in metro Orlando alone. AdventHealth operates nearly 50 hospitals and hundreds of care centers in nearly a dozen states, making it one of the largest faith-based health-care systems in the United States.

AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division encompasses 20 hospitals in the seven counties in and surrounding metro Orlando: Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Polk, Lake, Volusia and Flagler. The Central Florida Division’s care network also includes more than 30 Centra Care urgent-care centers; dozens of sports-rehab and imaging centers; and hundreds of physicians, ranging from primary care to a full spectrum of specialties.

AdventHealth Orlando, the division’s flagship campus, serves both as a community hospital and as a major tertiary referral hospital for the region, much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Latin America.

AdventHealth Orlando is a designated statutory teaching hospital and trains physicians from around the world on the newest technology and procedures. The system provides a wide range of health services, including many nationally and internationally recognized programs in cardiology, cancer, women’s medicine, neuroscience, diabetes, orthopedics, pediatrics, transplant and advanced surgical programs.

The AdventHealth Research Institute has more than 250 investigators and more than 500 clinical trials in progress. AdventHealth Orlando is also home to the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes and the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement.