An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling of the main blood vessel leading away from the heart. It often causes no symptoms but if not detected can be life-threatening. Identifying the condition early saves lives, so in 2009 the NHS began to screen men from their 65th year.
We were appointed by Public Health England to develop a national IT platform which would be used by more than 40 local screening programmes across the country.
Our SMaRT system has since helped screen over 300,000 men each year, and in 2015 was also implemented in Northern Ireland.
Since the introduction of SMaRT in 2009, it’s evolved to provide more streamlined support for the screening process.
Enhancements include the seamless integration of specialist ultrasound equipment and the introduction of electronic referrals to vascular services for those detected of being at risk. This has significantly improved productivity and efficiency. For example, removing the need for separate clinic work lists, embedding the AAA images within a patient’s record and allowing hundreds of appointments to be created in just a few clicks.
Since its introduction, the programme has screened over 2,000,000 men and referred over 1,000 for potentially life-saving treatment.