Diagnostic medical technology veering into Star Trek galaxies

Chad Pelley is an author, songwriter and journalist whose debut novel, Away From Everywhere, has been adapted into a film now making the festival rounds. But he might never have become the celebrated artist he is today.

The 36-year-old resident of St. John’s has arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a rare heart disorder prevalent in Newfoundland and Labrador where the first and only symptom is often a fatal heart attack. Thanks to genome sequencing that identified the gene responsible for ARVC, Pelley was able to learn through a blood test that he has the disorder.

Today, he walks around with a defibrillator implanted under his skin on the left side of his chest. Should his heart suddenly falter or stop, the defibrillator will send an electrical pulse to start it beating again.

Pelley says his brother and father also have implants and both have had electrical pulses from their defibrillators. “Mine has never fired at me, but there are times when my heart does something very strange.”

The future of medicine has always seemed out there, as fantastical as Star Trek’s fictional “tricorders.” But in the realm of diagnostics, cutting-edge innovation is rapidly drawing this future within arm’s reach of today’s patients, professionals and health-care system.

In a triumph of science and high-performance computing, new technology now makes it possible for doctors to diagnose conditions with unprecedented accuracy, identify the probability of developing a disease based on genetic analysis, and tap into the wisdom of experts around the world.

By Marjo Johne | The Star

Image Credit: Figure 1

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About Peter Coffaro 1104 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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