A Slovenian research institute has developed and clinically tested a personal health application that provides accurate personalized advice for patients with congestive heart failure. They are seeking industry and academic institutions to create new or enhance existing heart disease treatment solutions, leveraging their technology under technical cooperation and research cooperation agreements.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious disease in which heart cannot pump enough blood to properly supply the body with oxygen and nutrients. The CHF is affecting 1-2% of people in western world and the percentage rises to more than 10% among people older than 70 years. It cannot be cured and does get worse with time. The treatment is focused on mitigating the symptoms. In order to improve patients' quality of life it is crucial for patients to monitor their weight, take appropriate physical and mental exercises, watch what they eat and drink, and make other changes to their lifestyle. All this makes the disease management very difficult, and to make the issue even worse, each patient is different and may need to manage the disease differently.
Various solutions for personal activity monitoring, lifestyle and health management are available on the market. However, these solutions include only partly the required features to fully support the complexity of CHF treatment. For example, there is no existing solution which is taking into account the psychological state of the CHF patient and offering accurate advice on disease management adapted to each patient.
The Slovenian research institute with partners has developed a state-of-the-art personal health system that helps patients manage CHF. It consists of a mobile application that coaches the patient; a wristband connected to the application that measures the heart rate, physical activity and respiration rate, as well as estimates the blood pressure; a back end that manages the patientsí data and performs some of the reasoning about patientís condition; and a web application for medical professionals.
The application recognizes five important topics concerning self-management for these patients: physical activity, medication, nutrition, monitoring of symptoms and physiological parameters, and environment management. The application has access to patientís health records, it is connected to a monitoring wristband, and keeps a record of the userís past actions. Provided guidance is thus personalized and based on the patientís data. For example, the exercise program depends on the patientís physical capacity and current heart rate, while the nutrition education is adapted to the patientís comorbidities (diabetes etc.) and focuses on topics the patient has difficulties with. Healthcare professionals have a key role in the CHF. Therefore, the solution includes also a web portal designed specifically for professionals. The portal provides fast access to patient data from multiple sources, and simplifies the interpretation of patient information to improve disease management.
The research institute is seeking academic institutions, hospitals and industry who would use the system to support their research (under a research cooperation agreement). The institute is also keen to cooperate with an industrial partner for the commercialization of the technology (under a technical cooperation agreement).
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Type:
For research cooperation agreements:
Academic institutions, hospitals and companies with experience in participation in international research projects and other bilateral or in-house research projects. Partners with experience in project coordination are desirable. Companies with core expertise in e-health, wellbeing, wearable and other health related technologies, especially for heart related disease treatment are specifically sought.
For technology cooperation agreements:
Companies, which develop, produce, sell wearable, wireless, medical, personal health monitoring and other health related and medical devices, solutions for remote patient monitoring, on-site professional healthcare monitoring and home/office/work environment monitoring are sought.
For research cooperation agreements:
Ideally, partners should prepare (in-house research) or be part of wider (typically international) consortia for new project proposals. Partners with experience in participation in international research projects and coordination of (bigger) research projects are desirable (e.g. H2020 Program).
For technology cooperation agreements:
Companies should develop and test e-health solutions with good established cooperation with hospitals and patients for establishment of extensive trials of the proposed system.
The Slovenian researchers are keen to bring into any proposed type of cooperation their technical, research and engineering experience (e.g. to prepare technical documentation, maintenance, customer support). They also offer the support with their research infrastructure, equipment, wide network of existing research partners, further research and developing activities and upgrades of the existing system or other complementary e-health systems and extensive data models from their research. In the research cooperation they can also coordinate project, if this is agreed within the proposed consortia.
Several mobile applications for congestive heart failure management have been developed in last couple of years, but their main functionality is to track the information relevant for the patientís health, while their guidance is general and usually relatively simple. Most of them focus only on one or two problems (e.g. medication adherence, physical activity, etc.).
The proposed system has numerous advantages and innovations as opposed to congestive heart failure systems which are available on the market:
- it provides comprehensive guidance to all relevant self-management topics identified through the literature review (physical activity, medication, nutrition, monitoring of symptoms and physiological parameters, and environment management)
- it offers a significant degree of personalisation
- it raises the patientís awareness of their health through monitoring and providing advice
- it has a high degree of adjustability for adding new functionalities or changing the (visual) design of the application
- as a complete solution reduces mortality risks and hospital admission.
Field tested/evaluated - The system decision models and content have been validated by medical experts. The application was clinically tested in two groups of patients in Italy and Belgium. The results of clinical testing are: ē the system proved to be successful in improving self-care behaviour Ė and thus resulting in a higher quality of disease management ē using the system significantly improved psychological outcomes, i.e. intervention patients decreased their level of depression and anxiety and these reductions were even higher in the patients who had used the mental exercise in the application more intensively. ē the system intervention also reduced the experience of sexual problems and stimulated their interest and expressed need to receive counselling and information about the topic. The results also suggest that clinical outcomes were affected by the system as shown by the improvement in LVEF and decrease in the predicted 1-year mortality risk in the intervention group. The system (SW) modules are ready to: a) be used in further research (use of existing system) b) be further developed in an application with additional features