Last year, Dean Dupuy, 46, an engineer at Apple, suddenly died of a heart attack while playing hockey. He experienced no warning symptoms and, with a healthy, active lifestyle, did not fit the profile of someone at risk. Too late to save him, Dupuy’s wife Victoria discovered that early coronary disease can be identified by simple CT scans. She recently launched a nonprofit organization, No More Broken Hearts, in San Jose to raise awareness of the value of cardiac screening.
I cite this story because while comprehensive screening for two of the nation’s top killers, heart disease and stroke, is entirely practical, it is rarely done.
In Silicon Valley, a great deal of attention has been drawn to the recent announcement that Google X, the research arm of the technology giant, is planning to develop a revolutionary, nanotechnology-based disease-detection pill. Specifically, the pill would send micro-particles through the blood stream to detect early cancers and imminent heart attacks and to monitor diseases like diabetes.
Google seems confident in its ability to bring this project to fruition, and I certainly hope it succeeds. But it may take years before the technology is available for general use. In the meantime, I encourage others to adopt currently available technology for cardiovascular health screening.