New Australian Research and Development Partnership Aims to Innovate Heart Failure Care
BIOTRONIK, the University of Newcastle and the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE LHD) have partnered to shape a future heart failure care model. Investments by the Australian government and BIOTRONIK have kicked off the partnership, recognizing the importance of evolving standards of care in line with the latest technological advances.
The partners will create a digital testbed that addresses the changing needs in heart failure treatment. With this testbed, future care models can be tested in a real-world clinical setting. Results will help to determine how digital resources and developed processes most benefit different heart failure groups.
“We want to identify the concepts that lead to the best outcomes and most cost-effective delivery of health care when treating heart failure patients,” summarized Prof. Aaron Sverdlov, Clinical Academic Cardiologist at John Hunter Hospital (HNE LHD) and Associate Professor and Director of Heart Failure at the University of Newcastle,Australia. “This partnership would allow us to combine our clinical and research expertise with technological innovations to design, test and evaluate best value strategies for improving cardiovascular health of our community.”
Among others, the research project will specifically assess the best strategies to improve access to and delivery of cardiac care to patients living in rural and remote areas. These patients often need to travel long distances and frequently experience delays in receiving health care due to geographical isolation and limited specialist medical services in rural areas. For example, ways of integrating cardiac remote monitoring into a virtual heart failure service model will be tested to examine the value for patients living close to or far from the clinic, with and without cardiac implantable devices.
“The HNE LHD represents an ideal health delivery construct for the testbed,” explained Prof. James Leitch, Director of Cardiology at John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, Australia. “It covers a diverse socioeconomic population mix representative of the Australian healthcare market spread over an area of some 130,000 km2 (similar to an average EU country area) including metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities.”
Standards of care are based around the device that treats heart failure and accompanying services, generally not integrated within heart failure service. In contrast, future care models could involve integrated services and solutions that generate new insights. BIOTRONIK contributes to this value-based healthcare approach with its global know-how on cardiovascular products, remote monitoring and digital technologies.
“BIOTRONIK works with the public sector to tackle complex healthproblems like heart failure,” said Jan Ewert, Managing Director of BIOTRONIK Australia and New Zealand. “We believe in bespoke instead of ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions. The respective healthcare providershould be in full control of the solution and be able to scale it as it sees fit.”
This newest research project with public institutions complementsBIOTRONIK’s efforts to shape more patient-centered models of care in Australia.