Industry partner funds heart failure research fellow

Funding has been awarded by Abbott, a medical devices and health care company, to support a research fellow for two years within the heart failure team at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals (RBHH).

The funding was secured by Professor Martin Cowie, consultant cardiologist, and will support the heart failure team on their research into implantable devices.

Implantable devices are just one of the ways clinicians are using technology to remotely monitor patients, and the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that remote monitoring of chronic health conditions is even more crucial to ensuring best care can be delivered to patients in the safety of their own homes. 

The heart failure team, led by Professor Cowie, is just one of the many departments at RBHH that have had to adapt how they conduct clinical work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Overnight, the majority of clinic appointments had to be conducted “virtually” and being able to monitor patients’ health remotely has become essential – particularly for those with complex problems. 

Professor Cowie, commenting on this change said; 

“The term ‘techcelleration’ has been used to describe the sudden shift towards more remote care, with 10 years of change happening in a matter of months. This has been challenging for both patients and healthcare professionals, but when there is such an obvious need, people are happy to use whatever tools are available.”

As remote monitoring becomes more commonplace, it is important that research is conducted to find safe and reliable ways to monitor patients and help them manage their conditions.

One implantable device Professor Cowie’s team has been researching is the CardioMEMS device (pictured), developed by Abbott, which remotely monitors the pressure in the pulmonary arteries. The aim is to allow a more personalised approach to treatment, stabilising the heart failure and preventing the need for urgent hospitalisations that many patients experience.

Professor Cowie explained the importance of the device and funding; “It has been a pleasure to help lead the UK work on CardioMEMS across 15 hospitals, including our own. The next stage is to help co-design how this tool can provide useful information to the patient directly – not just to the heart team. The funding for a new fellow will help kickstart this work.” 

The research fellow position is expected to be filled by October 2021.

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