University of South Dakota Joins HeartRox™ Initiative

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Mission Now Goes Nationwide to Battle Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes today announced that the University of South Dakota has joined Project HeartRox, a nationwide initiative to screen student athletes for potentially serious suspected heart murmurs. Although most cardiac murmurs are not cause for concern, certain murmurs can be possible indicators of heart disease, which can lead to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) among young athletes.

Approximately 10,000 students attend The University of South Dakota, which was founded in 1862 and is the state’s oldest university. Athlete screenings at USD will be conducted using state-of-the-art technology designed to support primary care providers in analyzing cardiac sounds for the identification and classification of suspected murmurs. According to Shant Hovnanian, founder of HeartRox, USD is the first university to take part in the Project HeartRox outreach program, which aims to bring this technology to thousands of schools nationwide to help eliminate SCD among athletes in America’s schools. "USD’s collaboration with local medical personnel and nonprofit health organizations is a model for other schools to follow," Hovnanian stated. Hovnanian is also an advocate of the American Heart Association’s 12-step cardiovascular screening recommendations for athletes, which may also help reduce SCD.

“One of this country’s greatest resources is its children and young adults. With their ever-increasing level of participation and competition in athletics it becomes vital to identify underlying cardiac abnormalities prior to an unfortunate situation,” stated Dr. Patrick Hauer, an Associate Professor in USD’s Physical Therapy Department. “Technological advancements have allowed for significant improvements in examination procedures performed by health care professionals; this now is also the case with cardiac auscultation. Implementing Computer-assisted Auscultation may prove to be a very effective, reliable, user-friendly and cost-effective method to help identify cardiac pathologies.”

Although Sudden Cardiac Death in young athletes is rare, incidents of SCD continue to make national headlines and are an ongoing cause for concern among school systems and universities around the country, as well to student athletes and their family members. The mission of the Project HeartRox outreach program is to bring the technology to thousands of schools nationwide in an effort to help eliminate SCD among student athletes.

HeartRox is sponsored by Zargis Medical, a medical device company focused on improving health outcomes and cost-effectiveness through software and products. Find out more about our Adopt-A-School Program. For additional information about Project HeartRox or Zargis, contact Peter Hodge at 888.773.3669 (ext. 23) or phodge(at)zargis(dot)com, or visit the following Web sites: or


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