London, ON, May 12, 2020 — CANet is pleased to announce its renewed federal funding of $15.7 million over three years (totalling $42 million for 2014-23) from the Networks of Excellence of Canada (NCE). With over $46+ million in matching funds from partners to date, this support will enable our network to continue its digital transformation activities, technology development and commercialization, and advancements in arrhythmia research.
A patient-driven network, CANet has provided research funding through several granting programs designed to impact the lives of people living with arrhythmias.
Through the network’s investments, CANet Investigators have:
- Developed a cloud-based, secured, virtual care platform, VIRTUES (Virtual Integrated Reliable Transformative User-Driven E-Health System), which is being used in clinical research to show its usability, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness.
- Collaborated with Baylis Medical to develop a new transseptal system for patients suffering from heart failure, which is now in production with clearance from Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Collaborated with Drone Delivery Canada for the implementation of drone delivery of automated external defibrillators (AED’s) in rural areas.
- Developed a catheter contact-force controller (CFC) device that adjusts the catheter position and contact force which will significantly improve ablation procedures.
- Developed the Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS), a new screening tool to help emergency physicians determine if a fainting patient has symptoms of a potentially dangerous underlying condition. The CSRS tool has been implemented in 16 clinical practice sites across four provinces and can be accessed on the MDCalc website, an app that is currently used in 196 countries with 1 million monthly users. Through CANet’s knowledge translation platform, national implementation has begun. The CSRS tool will result in 71% of all syncope patients being discharged quickly from the ED and is projected to save the Canadian healthcare system approximately $70M per year.
- Demonstrated that catheter ablation is a better treatment option for recurrent ventricular tachycardia (VT) than is augmenting therapy to more potent anti-arrhythmic drugs. This multi-centre, multi-national study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and currently has over 112,000 hits placing it in the top 5-6% of NEJM articles of all time. Through CANet’s knowledge translation platform, the results of this study are being incorporated into international guidelines.
- Developed a strategy that improves emergency department care of patients with acute atrial fibrillation (AF) while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations. Piloted implementation of these guidelines has reduced hospitalization from 40% to 3.5%. These practice guidelines have been adopted into Canadian ED Best Practice Guidelines. Through CANet’s knowledge translation platform, the team is working with provincial representatives to adopt these guidelines across Canada (> 1000 sites), which will reduce AF-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations nationally by 30%.
With CANet’s mandate to provide patients with efficient, effective, and accessible healthcare, notably through the challenges faced during these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic, VIRTUES reflects the importance and impacts of empowering patients with the ability to co-manage their health by using this virtual care platform.
VIRTUES, constructed with the utmost in privacy and security safeguards, is a leading-edge data platform that provides patients with a cloud-based electronic health record that is owned by the patient and accessible by their healthcare providers.
“Adding to the list of CANet’s accomplishments, VIRTUES for Remote Patient Management for Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (RPM-CIED) has launched successfully this week, “ says Dr. Anthony Tang, CEO and Scientific Director of CANet. “We are working towards the release of VIRTUES COVID-19, for the management of COVID-19 patients at home, by integrating the monitoring of vital signs, oxygen saturation, and connecting patients with a COVID-19 care team.”
VIRTUES delivers healthcare to patients at home, in their communities, and is designed by patients for patients.
Combining mobile electrocardiographic monitoring, wearable/implantable technology, and digital smartphones and tablets, VIRTUES can track a patient’s symptoms along with real-time data and medical information into a patient-specific, personalized clinical context for patients and medical professionals.
“We are grateful for the federal funding and support provided by the NCE to advance our initiatives, “says Dr. Tang. “We look forward to our future outcomes, continued impacts, propelling our technological advancements, and to providing patients with cutting-edge personalized healthcare delivery, empowerment, and ownership to co-manage their health.”
The VIRTUES care platform has been assembled with collaboration from national and international partners.
- VIRTUES provides virtual care to patients.
- VIRTUES delivers healthcare to patients at home, in their communities.
- VIRTUES is designed by patients for patients.
- VIRTUES improves the quality and accessibility of care at a reduced cost.
- VIRTUES is an innovative Canadian solution to a global crisis
About Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet)
CANet is a Pan-Canadian multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral research and development network of investigators, well-positioned industry partners, patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers focused on arrhythmia research, technology development and commercialization, and digital transformation activities.
CANet is funded in part by the federal government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), Canada’s flagship science and technology program.
VIRTUES was designed, developed and implemented with the essential involvement of patients, on-going expertise of healthcare leaders from CANet’s pan-Canadian network of investigators and clinicians, and fundamental support of academic, industry and government partners from provinces and territories across Canada.
Patients will receive on-demand virtual care using state-of-the-art Canadian-made biosensor driven diagnostics and health informatics, integrated with cutting-edge digital technologies, advanced analytics, and wireless connectivity.
VIRTUES delivers the most efficient, effective, and accessible healthcare, on-demand, and tailored to the specific needs of each patient.
Director of Digital Marketing and Communications
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