New technology may be used to treat heart patients

The idea of introducing these new technologies was because heart disease was the top three killer in Brunei.

Brunei may soon use new technologies to treat heart disease patients, as a way of lowering the risk of infections and improve the quality of lives, said a senior doctor.

Dr Sofian Dato Paduka Dr Hj Johar, head of Cardiology Unit at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Saleha Hospital, said pacemakers, which are placed in the chest or abdomen to control abnormal heart rhythms, may be used with new technologies for heart patients.

"We are potentially going to be introducing some new technologies to help with pacemakers, and even trying something new which sits just inside the heart and is about two centimetres long. We are hoping to use that at some point over the next year," he said.

The cardiologist, who is also visiting consultant electrophysiologist at Gleaneagles JPMC, was speaking on the sidelines of the Fifth International Cardiology Conference yesterday.

He said the idea of introducing these new technologies was because heart disease was the top three killer in Brunei.

Dr Sofian said there were fewer than 500 cases worldwide using this new technology, but as Brunei recently had access to the technology, they were in the process of selecting the appropriate patients and facilities to carry out the procedure.

Patients who are undergoing dialysis and at the same time have heart problems will have reduced risks of infections with the use of this new technology, he said.

"With those kind of patients (dialysis), there is a risk of having an infection in the blood with all the wires and lines. So hopefully with this new kind of pacemaker, it basically means that there are no wires inside the heart, so the risk of infection is much lower," he explained.

"The idea is to prevent all of these things from happening, but if people have problems, we want to assure people in Brunei that we have access to all the interventions necessary to make people feel better, give them a better quality of life and live longer."

Dr Sofian was one of the speakers at the conference, which was organised by Gleneagles JPMC.