2 min read

When It's Good to Find Something Bad

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For the last 50 years, cardiology care has focused on treating symptoms of heart disease, rather than its root cause - atherosclerosis. At Cleerly, we are transforming the approach to cardiovascular care with our precision health model that proactively identifies atherosclerosis sooner and provides personalized, life saving treatment plans for all patients.



How we identify patients at risk

Terry Schemmel, 58, is a husband, father, and the quality director at Cleerly. Prior to Cleerly, Schemmel worked in quality engineering for Medtronic and other technical roles at Oracle, Fujifilm, Quantum and more. Outside of work, Schemmel enjoys fishing and tutoring students in math and science.

Through Cleerly’s sponsored scan program for employees, Schemmel decided to get a CCTA and Cleerly analysis. He had no prior history of cardiac arrest or any kind of heart health problems in his family so was surprised when he got his results.

I didn't ever have any symptoms of heart disease before Cleerly. I didn't have any reason to believe there was anything wrong with my heart.


Understanding patient plaque burden for evaluation

According to his Cleerly analysis, Schemmel had a 95% blockage in his left anterior descending artery that is referred to as a ‘widow maker’. A widow maker refers to a big blockage at the beginning of the left main artery of the left anterior descending artery and is a main pipeline for blood. If blocked at this location, it may lead to a fatal heart attack without emergency care.

You wouldn't have found this by the normal standard of care that says if you have this much calcium, you have this much blockage but really doesn't tell the whole story.

After getting his results, Schemmel met with a cardiologist who recommended he have a stent placed and prescribed an anticoagulant to prevent future blood clots.

The interesting thing about Cleerly's product is that it can tell (plaque) density much, much clearer. Our software puts a number on that and says, here's the range for calcified plaque, and that's the stuff that doesn't move. It's just sitting there. And then non-calcified plaque is the stuff that can build quickly and clog quickly.


Personalized treatment and tracking

Thanks to Cleerly, Schemmel now has a solution to a problem he didn't know about. He's following his recommended treatment and sees his cardiologist every six months to monitor his heart health.

I feel like I've enjoyed being outdoors more since having the procedure. Now I've gone fishing every weekend for the last three weeks, and it felt good.

Schemmel says a big reason he joined Cleerly was to prevent heart attacks for everyone and do so in a cost-effective and non-invasive way.

Cleerly helped me know what's in my heart. By scanning more people like me, we can save more lives.



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