iHEART: the complex mathematics of the heart
Collaboration between the cardiology department of the Rovereto hospital and the Polytechnic University of Milan

Heart diseases can be prevented with mathematics. The iHEART project’s researchers, mathematicians and clinicians who have been working side by side for several years to create a mathematical model capable of studying the behavior of the human heart and its pathologies, are convinced of this. The cardiology department of Santa Maria del Carmine hospital in Rovereto, with a computational tool to optimize cardiac synchronization electric therapy (CRT), joined universities, hospitals and research centers all over Italy to work on the project.

iHEART aims to create an integrated mathematical model of the heart, able to translate the functioning of this extraordinary organ into mathematical equations. The goal is to achieve a better understanding of cardiac function by using less costly and invasive examinations for the patient. It will also make it possible to create scenarios for the evolution of particular clinical conditions, which are difficult to achieve with the tools of traditional medicine.

Among the modules considered of greatest interest is the one developed in collaboration with the cardiology department of the Rovereto hospital, which has been engaged for years in the optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy through the implantation of a pacemaker-type device capable of restoring the correct synchronization of the heartbeat.

The iHEART project between Politecnico di Milano and cardiology of Rovereto wants to open new horizons between mathematics and medicine, with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, creating new professional roles between mathematics, bioengineering, medicine and data science. All this demonstrates the importance of scientific research in hospital wards and the usefulness of coordinated and systematic action between universities, research centers and hospitals.