No Heartbreak, No Heart Failure: This is Valentine’s day!

If one thing is forbidden today, it is a broken heart or heart failure. Both are extremely complex matters. For the first one, I have only pragmatic, personal but successful experience. For the second one, my job gives me the gift of new understanding and knowledge every day, enabling me to imagine the fantastic engineering complexity of the heart. Yet, it is fascinating to analyze the parallels between the two topics.

1. Love is a very complex matter that goes far beyond a simple relationship between two people. The heart is a fantastic piece of advanced engineering work combining electrical systems to ensure that all cells are working in concert, inducing a structural contraction (our regular heart beat) that drives the blood flow throughout the different heart chambers. What an amazing masterpiece of work fully exploiting a multiphysics approach!

2. Any failure of a single heart component could have tragic consequences: a calcified valve preventing blood flow, lack of electrical coordination between cells leading to fibrillation, excess of cholesterol limiting blood flux. Continuous attention to ensure that all components works well together is exactly what we need to make love strong and shining.

3. Our partner is not a single entity but (s)he’s at the center of a system made of friends, colleagues, family members, etc. that will influence the day-to-day behavior. Similarly, the heart is at the core of a complex cardiovascular system. Neglecting it is likely to lead to an inaccurate diagnosis — while modeling the entire body possibly through a system model would help preventing failure.

4. Preventive medicine is today the best recommendation to prevent any stressful situation such as heart failure. It is by far better to properly pay attention to our own heart on a regular basis than just when something big is happening. Similarly, we need to take care of our partner every day — and not just today— to continuously strengthen this relationship and prevent the risk of major failure.

5. Finally, the future of medicine will likely be the medical ‘Digital Twin’, a computer-based model of yourself able to suggest potential or imminent risk to allow you to act in due time, today, my best half, my wife, is already my “Love Twin” taking care of my life.

As we see the similarities between love and the organ pumping our blood, there is no surprise that our ancestors identified the heart as the home for love. So, let’s take care of both in a similar preventive and continuous manner. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

This entry was posted in Healthcare by Thierry Marchal. Bookmark the permalink.

About Thierry Marchal

Thierry Marchal is the Industry Director for Healthcare, Construction and Consumer Products at ANSYS, Inc., a role he has held since 2006. In his two decades of professional experience, Thierry has worked as a Global Material Market Segment Manager with Fluent, Inc., and Product Manager with Polyflow. Beyond his usual professional responsibilities he also directs ANSYS's global thought leadership initiative. Thierry holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA in Marketing both from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. View Thierry Marchal's LinkedIn profile

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