Halifax, NS, May 11, 2020 – Remote Patient Management for Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (RPM-CIED), a national randomized controlled study, consisting of over two-thousand patients in 12 sites across Canada, has launched in Calgary, AB, Halifax, NS, Kitchener, ON, and Quebec City, QC.
This program focuses on patient care with remote management of implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) and pacemakers and the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of CANet’s VIRTUES care platform.
VIRTUES will facilitate the remote-only environment of this study.
Approximately 120,000 Canadian patients live with either a pacemaker or ICD. These patients are required to visit a cardiac device clinic at least once a year.
The unmet need for patients with ICD’s and pacemakers to improve follow up methods outside of a clinical environment was recognized before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“In our pilot work, we found that a remote-only approach was safe and feasible. We also found that 91% of patients desire communication from their clinic regarding their device,” says Dr. Ratika Parkash, CANet Network Investigator, Electrophysiologist at Halifax’s QEII Health Sciences Centre, and Professor at Dalhousie University. “This is not currently happening in the majority of clinics in Canada, “she adds.
Although remote monitoring for CIEDs has been available for several years, it has been implemented without the necessary improvements in efficiencies for clinics, without the required information for clinicians to triage these transmissions appropriately and without the appropriate communication to the patients regarding their device status.
“We hope that VIRTUES provides increased efficiency in clinics, the required data for triaging and interpreting these transmissions appropriately, and seamless and near real-time updates for the patient,” Dr. Parkash expresses.
CANet’s VIRTUES care platform will fill previously identified gaps by bridging the communications between a device clinic and a patient, which is currently either inconsistent or nonexistent for routine device checks completed remotely. VIRTUES RPM-CIED provides the link for patients to access what a remote monitoring session reveals to their caring physician.
“VIRTUES is a vital tool, providing cutting-edge personalized virtual healthcare for patients to co-manage their health, ” says Dr. Anthony Tang, Scientific Director and CEO, CANet.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for remote management has heightened across Canada and the world. There have been many barriers, including privacy, billing, and device clinic staff “buy-in,” and the acceptance for virtual care has grown significantly by all stakeholders.
“In the COVID-19 era, the use of VIRTUES RPM-CIED is even more important. Device clinics have suddenly shifted to a remote-only environment. VIRTUES RPM-CIED provides the ability to respond to the COVID-19 situation immediately to alleviate the burden of clinics,” says Dr. Parkash. “We hope that our planned clinical trial can demonstrate the reduction of workload for device clinic staff, who are calling all remote patients during this pandemic, and provide the much-needed support to our patients with devices that provide life-sustaining therapy.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of virtual healthcare globally, and we look forward to the outcomes of this study, “says Dr. Tang.
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.
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