Professor Martin Cowie has been a key part of Royal Brompton Hospital’s heart failure service for 15 years. He is passionate about ensuring all patients and their families gain access to world-class care, including a rapid and accurate diagnosis and many different types of treatment that can improve quality and length of life.
This year, Professor Cowie gave the keynote British Cardiovascular Society Medal Lecture and was presented with the British Cardiovascular Society Medal, the society’s highest honour.
Partnerships and charity involvement
Professor Cowie is closely involved with two patient charities – the Atrial Fibrillation Association and Pumping Marvellous (the heart failure charity). He firmly believes that the best results come from partnership between those living with heart failure on a daily basis and their healthcare advisors.
Changing health policy is vital to improving the outcome for people with heart failure, and Professor Cowie has been instrumental in various national and international initiatives, including the Health Policy Network, the British Heart Failure Alliance and the Global Heart Failure Awareness Programme.
It is essential that the professional voice is heard and that resources are made available for clinical and research work in heart failure. Professor Cowie helped set up and chaired the British Society for Heart Failure, was a board member of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology, and has been involved in the global Optimize Heart Failure programme, which has seen him lecture across the world.
Professor Cowie has worked extensively with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on its work in atrial fibrillation and heart failure, helping to develop clinical guidelines and quality standards for the NHS. He has also worked with medicines regulators in the UK, EU and USA.
In 2008, Professor Cowie was appointed to the College of Senior Investigators at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The college was set up to support researchers who are making the most outstanding contribution to people-focused health research in the NHS.
Professor Cowie also chairs a whole range of projects in breathlessness across north-west London, as part of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) initiative. This ensures that physicians, allied health professionals, managers and patients work together to implement exciting new ways of working to improve the care and experience of those with breathlessness. A particular emphasis is on people who do not fit into one particular diagnostic pathway; in these cases, joint working is really important so that patients have a rapid and tailored approach to their care.
E-health is a particular area of interest for Professor Cowie – using technology to support more effective and efficient delivery of care. He leads the European Society of Cardiology’s e-health workstream, representing over 30,000 cardiologists across more than 50 countries, and has been appointed to the European Commission’s working group on mobile health (m-health). Having developed a remote monitoring service at Royal Brompton Hospital, and testing many new technologies in clinical trials, Professor Cowie says: “It is exciting to see research move into practice ever more quickly.”
Professor Cowie, who studied medicine at Aberdeen University and trained in cardiology at University College and Imperial College London, has published more than 200 scientific papers. He has also contributed to a number of book chapters and textbooks, and his work has been cited in the scientific literature more than 10,000 times. He has been involved in research studies that have been published in journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, British Medical Journal and European Heart Journal.