New Australian research and development partnership aims to innovate heart failure care

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Biotronik, the University of Newcastle (in Australia), and the John Hunter New England Local Health District have partnered to shape a future heart failure care model. A press release reports that investments by the Australian government and Biotronik have “kicked off” the partnership, recognising 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, according to the press release, 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.

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.

Aaron Sverdlov (John Hunter Hospital, Australia; University of Newcastle, Australia) comments: “We want to identify the concepts that lead to the best outcomes and most cost-effective delivery of healthcare when treating heart failure patients. 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.”

Current 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.

Jan Ewert, managing director of Biotronik Australia and New Zealand says: “Biotronik works with the public sector to tackle complex health problems like heart failure. We believe in bespoke instead of ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions. The respective healthcare provider should be in full control of the solution and be able to scale it as it sees fit.”


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