New digital service to monitor heart failure patients in Greater Manchester

Around 1,000 patients with heart failure across Greater Manchester will be monitored by a new digitally-enhanced service that will use data from existing implantable devices in a bid to transform care and better meet their needs.

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) has announced that ten data solutions will receive a share of £3 million Government funding following a UK-wide competition, with £338,000 being allocated to Greater Manchester. The projects are funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Health Innovation Manchester has developed the heart failure project through a partnership between Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Manchester, global medical devices company Medtronic and clinical trials specialists North West EHealth.

Prof Ben Bridgewater, chief executive of Health Innovation Manchester and a former cardiac surgeon, said: “We are maximising the benefits of digital technology to deliver 21st century healthcare to the 21st century patient, which can only be delivered through a collaboration between the NHS, academia and industry. This is precisely what Health Innovation Manchester was set up to do, further strengthened by our uniquely devolved health and social care system, digital capabilities and life sciences cluster. Once tested, we will seek to adopt and spread the model so that all patients with heart failure benefit.”

In one year alone, 4,330 admissions to hospitals in Greater Manchester were related to heart failure, with treatment costing more than £17 million. However, by better understanding and supporting the patient to manage their condition this could be much less.

Dr Fozia Ahmed, consultant cardiologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the project, said: “We have been evaluating the use of this novel device-based pathway to identify patients with worsening heart failure for nearly three years. This project looks at how we can potentially align the technology that sits within implanted devices to benefit the patient by identifying potential problems at an earlier timepoint. To date, 7/10 patients were found to have issues that required treatment. By making better use of the patient data available we hope to radically improve the effectiveness and accuracy of patient care, ultimately improving care pathways.”

The new digital innovation project builds on the existing heart failure and device service at Manchester Heart Centre, at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Around 1,000 Greater Manchester patients already have an implantable device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator which captures information about their health. As part of the project, the clinical team will work closely with Medtronic, the company which provides the devices, to use the data to try and detect signs of deterioration earlier.

Jackie Fielding, vice president UK and Ireland Medtronic, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Manchester Health Economy, Dr Fozia Ahmed and Health Innovation Manchester to explore the use of our remote monitoring technology in improving health outcomes for patients living with heart failure. TRIAGE HF and the Medtronic CareLink System have a high diagnostic accuracy to identify patients with worsening heart failure and are currently being used as a heart failure management tool at Manchester Royal Infirmary.”


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