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

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Biotronik, the University of Newcastle (Callaghan, Australia) and the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE LHD) have partnered to shape a heart failure care model. To date, the Australian government and Biotronik have invested in the partnership.

According to a press release, 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,” summarised Aaron Sverdlov, clinical academic cardiologist at John Hunter Hospital (New Lambton Heights, Australia) 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 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.”

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