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Platform could help millions affected by heart disease

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A new platform is being launched to bring together cardiovascular patients and trials to improve individual treatment and aid research.

The site www.cardiotrials.org  for patients and healthcare professionals will use ‘dating site’ technology to change the way that cardiovascular trials are recruited for in the UK.

It is hoped that this will improve the engagement of heart failure patients in their care, benefiting the millions of people impacted by the disease each year in the UK.

A UK charity for heart failure patients, the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, has developed the technology to launch the site that will match patients with heart failure to appropriate clinical trials for the first time in the UK.

Health professionals can log directly into the site to review trials available for patients in their area in order to make recommendations.

Clinical trial organisations and pharma companies will also be able to upload trial details for patient and health care professional access.

Under current arrangements, heart failure patients are often unaware of prospective trials unless they are given the information by healthcare professionals. This relies on the researchers running the trials giving information to those health care professionals.

The CardioTrials site aims to put patients in direct contact with trial organisations and researchers.

Nick Hartshorne-Evans, chief executive and founder of Pumping Marvellous, said: “After being diagnosed with heart failure ten years ago I became acutely aware of how little support there is for those affected.

“I set up the Pumping Marvellous Foundation to help identify problems in the current system and to work with all stakeholders to overcome them.

“The charity also provides a space where people that are diagnosed can reach out for personal support and advice from other patients as well as distributing around 100,000 pieces of patient information through NHS heart failure teams.”

He explained that being on a trial directly benefits a patient, who will then automatically receive a gold standard of care so that every patient is on a consistent level of care.

He added: “But also there is the altruistic benefit in that what you are doing is for the future, its developing treatments and those don’t have to be pharmacological or med tech devices, it can be processes or whatever.’’

There is currently no registry for trials but Hartshorne-Evans estimates that there are more than 100 trials ongoing.

“The platform we have developed – certainly in the cardiovascular area which we will focus on and specifically heart failure – could become a register of trials. Because we are a UK charity so we don’t share data and the patient is in full control,’’ he said.

The initial aim is to launch the platform in the UK and concentrate on heart failure and then more broadly cardiovascular.

“The idea is to make the UK a really good place to do research because the key components you need are investment and then the quality of the research and the institution and network and then you need an activated population,’’ said Hartshorne-Evans. “If you’ve got that population, then it’s a good place to do business.

“But, there’s no question it will be taken European and global if we can make it work.’’

Pumping Marvellous already supplies more than 100,000 pieces of patient information and has extensive distribution links into the NHS and heart failure specialist teams.

Professor Mark Petrie of Glasgow University said: “This is a huge step forward. That patients can now volunteer to join heart failure trials is fantastic. Specialist heart failure teams can now work with patients to find new treatments for heart failure.

“Heart failure is a condition that can reduce a patient’s quality of life and lifespan but, with careful and thorough treatment, patients can have good outcomes. Patients, doctors and nurses working together will further expand our options for people with heart failure.”

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  1. Pingback: NHS England mandates use of AI tool to fight coronary heart disease

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