Robert H. Helm MD

Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

Assistant Professor, Radiology

75 E. Newton St | (617) 638-8734
Robert Helm

Cardiovascular Medicine


Robert Helm, MD, FHRS received his BS in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins and his MD at Loyola University Chicago. He completed fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Johns Hopkins. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Boston University and a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist at Boston Medical Center. He has expertise in atrial fibrillation (AF) and other arrhythmia disorders and has a very large clinical practice performing hundreds of ablation procedures annually. He has gained distinction within his field being recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for his clinical expertise in arrhythmia disorders including AF and cardiac resynchronization therapy. He is the Director of the Cardiac Device clinic, that follows approximately 5,000 patients. He oversees perioperative cardiac device management and MR imaging in patients with cardiac devices. As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society he has served on the Scientific and Clinical Documents committee and as a member of the writing groups for the 2017 Expert Consensus Statement on Catheter and Surgical Ablation of AF and the expert consensus on Atrial Cardiomyopathies: Definition, Characterization, and Clinical Implication.

He is author of a number of peer-reviewed publications, invited reviews, and book chapters. In the past, he conducted translational research focused on pathobiology and assessment of mechanical dyssynchrony, which is associated with dilated cardiomyopathy and left bundle branch block. Much of his work focused on cardiac strain analysis using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and how strain may be used to predict response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. This work was supported in part by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant P01 HL077180 and the training grant T32-HL07227. He served as the local PI for the Echocardiography Guided Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (Echo-CRT) Trial, a clinical trial assessing effectiveness of using pacemakers for cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with heart failure and narrow QRS ( number, NCT00683696), and for the International Study to Determine if AdreView Heart Function Scan Can be Used to Identify Patients With Mild or Moderate Heart Failure (HF) That Benefit From Implanted Medical Device (ADMIRE-ICD Trial), a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of AndreViewtm imaging for identifying patients who are at low risk of sudden death to decision for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator ( number, NCT02656329).

More recently, his research has focused on improving risk assessment and treatment of AF. He is currently conducting the Secondary Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation Randomized Pilot Study ( number, NCT03259893) funded by the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The trial is a hybrid implementation-effectiveness study testing the feasibility of a multidisciplinary AF program in combination with mobile health devices and comparing AF outcomes including burden and symptoms of AF, quality of life, and hospitalizations for AF. He is also the local PI for the Systematic Assessment of Geriatric Elements in Atrial Fibrillation (SAGE-AF, 1R01HL126911-01A1), which seeks to identify novel factors associated with clinical and patient-reported AC outcomes in a device cohort of older AF patients. He is also the local PI for Bariatric Restoration of Sinus (BAROS) Study ( number, NCT04050969) and its sub-study, Biomarkers as Predictors of AF Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery and Catheter Ablation, which seeks to understand the mechanisms of AF by examining biomarkers and tissue as possible predictors of AF outcomes in patients undergoing AF ablation and to understand the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in AF. He is currently a collaborator on the Boston AHA AF SFRN Center.


MD, Loyola University - Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, 2000

BS, Johns Hopkins University, 1996


Published on 3/30/2023

Wasserlauf J, Vogel K, Whisler C, Benjamin E, Helm R, Steinhaus DA, Yousuf O, Passman RS. Accuracy of the Apple watch for detection of AF: A multicenter experience. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 May; 34(5):1103-1107. PMID: 36942773.

Published on 3/21/2023

Wasserlauf J, Vogel K, Whisler C, Benjamin E, Helm R, Steinhaus DA, Yousuf O, Passman RS. Accuracy of the Apple watch for detection of AF: A multicenter experience. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Mar 21. PMID: 36942773.

Published on 3/10/2023

Manivannan A, Schou M, Monahan KM, Helm R, Ko D, Fosbøl E, Køber L, Gustafsson F, Gislason GH, Torp-Pedersen C, Andersson C. Prognostic Importance of Atrial Fibrillation and Anticoagulation in Alcoholic Versus Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Alcohol Alcohol. 2023 Mar 10; 58(2):159-163. PMID: 36426877.

Published on 10/23/2022

Wang W, Lessard D, Kiefe CI, Goldberg RJ, Parish D, Helm R, Trymbulak K, Mehawej J, Abu H, Bamgbade BA, Hayward R, Gore J, Gurwitz JH, McManus DD, Saczynski JS. Differential effect of anticoagulation according to cognitive function and frailty in older patients with atrial fibrillation. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023 Feb; 71(2):394-403. PMID: 36273408.

Published on 9/8/2022

Bamgbade BA, McManus DD, Briesacher BA, Lessard D, Mehawej J, Gurwitz JH, Tisminetzky M, Mujumdar S, Wang W, Malihot T, Abu HO, Waring M, Sogade F, Madden J, Pierre-Louis IC, Helm R, Goldberg R, Kramer AF, Saczynski JS. Medication cost-reducing behaviors in older adults with atrial fibrillation: The SAGE-AF study. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2023; 63(1):125-134. PMID: 36171156.

Published on 6/23/2022

Karnik AA, Saczynski JS, Chung JJ, Gurwitz JH, Bamgbade BA, Paul TJ, Lessard DM, McManus DD, Helm RH. Cognitive impairment, age, quality of life, and treatment strategy for atrial fibrillation in older adults: The SAGE-AF study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Oct; 70(10):2818-2826. PMID: 35735210.

Published on 5/5/2022

Schwartz B, Schou M, Barrillas Lara IM, Monahan K, Helm R, Køber L, Gislason GH, Ramachandran VS, Torp-Pedersen C, Andersson C. Prognostic importance of atrial fibrillation in heart failure according to time elapsed since diagnosis. Heart Rhythm O2. 2022 Aug; 3(4):430-432. PMID: 36097453.

Published on 1/31/2022

Wang W, Saczynski JS, Lessard D, Goldberg RJ, Parish D, Helm R, Kiefe CI, Trymbulak K, Mehawej J, Abu H, Hayward R, Gore J, Gurwitz JH, McManus DD. Presence of Geriatric Conditions Is Prognostic of Major Bleeding in Older Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: a Cohort Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Nov; 37(15):3893-3899. PMID: 35102482.

Published on 10/28/2021

Ko D, Dai Q, Flynn DB, Bosch NA, Helm RH, Monahan KM, Andersson C, Anderson CD, Walkey AJ. Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials Comparing the Impact of Implantable Loop Recorder Versus Usual Care After Ischemic Stroke for Detection of Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Risk. Am J Cardiol. 2022 01 01; 162:100-104. PMID: 34756594.

Published on 8/16/2021

Bamgbade BA, McManus DD, Helm R, Mehawej J, Gurwitz JH, Mailhot T, Abu HO, Goldberg R, Wang Z, Tisminetzky M, Pierre-Louis IC, Saczynski JS. Differences in Perceived and Predicted Bleeding Risk in Older Adults With Atrial Fibrillation: The SAGE-AF Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 09 07; 10(17):e019979. PMID: 34398677.

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