‘Close to the heart’; interventional cardiologist Qaisra Yasmin Saeed M.D. shares Philips’ passion for helping patients and taking on challenges

May 14, 2024 | 4 minute read

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide [1], which means the demands on cardiology departments have never been greater. At Philips, we empower interventional cardiology teams around the world whose life experiences help them take on challenges and succeed.

Header Close to the heart campaign

Philips’ latest interventional cardiology campaign ‘Close to the heart’ shows how we understand interventional cardiologists, how we share their passion, and how we're with them every step of the way – innovating to help them deliver exceptional heart care to their patients.

‘Close to the heart’ shares a remarkable story. That of Qaisra Yasmin Saeed M.D., an interventional cardiologist based in Millburn New Jersey (US), her love of helping patients and her love of climbing mountains – both activities filled with challenges and triumphs – can serve as an inspiration to us all. 

Close to the heart


Dr. Saeed’s journey into cardiology began early on. “My decision to pursue cardiology happened during my time in medical school. Initially, I wasn’t sure what field I wanted to specialize in. However, as I delved deeper into the study of cardiology, I found it to be a fascinating and dynamic field that really captured my interest,” she recalls.

Her passion for mountain climbing, on the other hand, was sparked much later. “My interest in climbing developed much later in life. Growing up, I wasn’t particularly athletic. My parents emphasized studies and education. However, when my son took up taekwondo, I joined him for the sake of discipline. It was through a friend I met there that I was introduced to climbing,” she shares. Her most recent climb was to the summit of Mount Everest. 

The parallels between her profession and her passion for climbing are striking. “Both require seeing an objective, planning it out, and being prepared. In cardiology, you assess the lesion, gather your equipment, make a plan, and then implement it. It’s the same with climbing. I study the route, figure out the elevations, estimate the hours needed, plan it all out, train for it, and then execute the plan. Both pursuits demand a similar mindset and approach,” she observes.

While not in a position to help with her climbing, Philips is committed to make planning and executing the life-saving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures, like those Dr. Saeed performs in her cath lab on a daily basis, as easy and effective as possible. Philips’ unique fully-integrated cath lab solution – Azurion – allows interventionists to control the real-time imaging and information display needed during a PCI from a touchscreen alongside the patient table, enabling them to make faster, better-informed decisions. Fewer manual tasks, button clicks, and staff movements help increase workflow efficiency, cutting procedure times by as much as 17% [1], contributing to a 96% ease-of-use satisfaction score with a panel of interventionists [2]. 

Deployed on the Azurion Platform, Philips Dynamic Coronary Roadmap, a Philips-exclusive navigation technology that creates a motion-compensated, real-time view of coronary arteries. It has been shown to reduce the need for contrast agent (an iodine-based injection that makes blood visible on X-rays) by 28.8% [3], reducing the risk of contrast agent induced acute kidney injury in susceptible patients. The company’s intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging, another major innovation in vascular imaging, provides detailed images from within the patient’s blood vessels to tailor and adjust PCI procedures in real time.

Philips solutions not only address the clinical challenges that interventionists like Dr. Saeed face every day. They also address the organizational challenges that today’s cardiology departments face. Patient volumes continue to increase, financial constraints remain a significant concern, and health systems face issues due to ongoing staffing problems. The recruitment and retention of staff pose a challenge, with healthcare job openings reaching an all-time high. Dr. Saeed, like many other healthcare professionals, also has to navigate those challenges. 

Dr. Saeed’s climbing experience and her success as a cardiologist are testament to the fact that challenging boundaries and going beyond our personal limits can teach us valuable lessons. “It’s very rewarding to take care of someone in the hospital who’s really sick, like someone who comes in with a heart attack, and then see them recover. I enjoy giving people the opportunity to live their life the way they want to, whether that’s watching their friends graduate or achieving their goals,” she says.

It's a sentiment that Philips shares and one that lies at the heart of the company’s innovations in interventional cardiology. Because doing things that are ‘close to the heart’ has more than an emotional appeal. For Philips, it means empowering interventional cardiologists with innovative solutions when and where they need them most to deliver exceptional care. 

IGT Close to the heart Outdoors
IGT Close to the heart Clinical SHD
IGT Close to the heart Clinical SHD

Read more on our ‘Close to the Heart’ webpage about Philips’ portfolio of solutions to support interventional cardiologists. 



[2] Usability study of 775 procedures performed in December 2016.
[3] Evaluated with clinical users in a simulated lab environment.

Media contacts

Joost Maltha--Philips External Relations
Joost Maltha
Philips External Relations
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