Open-source platform could aid study of AF

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An open-source platform, OpenEP, has been made available to advance research on atrial fibrillation (AF), which developers claim can perform 90% of the analyses performed in contemporary electrophysiology studies. The platform, which is detailed in a study recently published in Frontiers in Physiology, could enable researchers to focus on their specific hypothesis or research question, it has been claimed.

The OpenEP platform has been developed in a collaboration between King’s College London (London, UK), the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK), Invicro, a Konica Minolta Company, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (London, UK), and Imperial College London, (London, UK).

Steven Williams, Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, and lead author of the paper in Frontiers in Physiology, said the platform lowers barriers of entry to electrophysiology research.

“For clinicians who may wish to do this sort of research but have not been able to before because of the significant barriers, many of these are now overcome. It is now possible to get the clinical data into a standardised format using the OpenEP and analyse it without writing specialised programmes,” he said.

Williams said as the code is open source, the research community can verify that the methods are implemented correctly and update them, if required. The software contained in the platform has been under development for ten years and has been used in a number of electrophysiology research projects at King’s College London.

In addition to its impact on AF research, OpenEP is already being used for research into other arrhythmias by collaborating institutions.

Nick Linton, consultant cardiologist & senior lecturer at Imperial College London and a senior author of the study said: “We hope that OpenEP will foster collaboration with new and existing researchers in this exciting area of cardiology. Arrhythmias are a leading cause of morbidity in the UK, and we are confident that OpenEP will help to accelerate progress towards innovative treatments.”


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