August 10, 2018

Innovation opportunities in Heart Function Improvement

Julie Carty

At HealthXL we empower innovators to solve healthcare problems through collaboration. On Wednesday last week, we hosted a webinar Digital Heart Health with Dr. Ameet Bakhai -  a leading international Consultant Cardiologist and Deputy Director for Research at Royal Free London NHS Trust with an expertise in health economics from Harvard.

Dr. Bakhai has pioneered the introduction of over 20 therapeutic, diagnostic and research solutions in the NHS and Royal Free London NHS hospital, from drugs to devices, from systems to new manpower groups. Over the course of the webinar, Dr. Bakhai spoke on key issues facing patients diagnosed with heart failure (including the classification and terminology used for heart “failure”). Drawing on his experience in clinical trials, he specified a pressing need for innovators in the clinical space to conduct more pilots with future-gazing clinicians that are capable of supporting new technology introductions. These trials need to be correctly designed and conducted so that meaningful conclusions can be drawn from them.   “Work with clinicians that are willing to break barriers and be innovate enough to introduce technology,  conduct the pilots and collect the data.“ Dr. Bakhai is working on numerous heart health improvement programs, but he called out two areas of focus that he is actively looking for collaborators and innovators to join him:

1.Screening for early detection and prevention programs for heart failure.

The earlier the systems can identify a person requiring a program for heart health improvement the more likely that person will not present to an ED with symptomatic heart failure. For context - when a person presents for the first time to an ED with heart failure they have an 11% chance of dying before discharge, and without specialist intervention in the first year that risk of mortality is at 25%

2. Programs to connect and support a patient enrolled to a heart improvement program.

The current norm is to describe a reduction in heart function capability as “heart failure”. A patient diagnosed with a condition describing the “failure” of a vital organ, requires ongoing support from a clinical team that will encourage and promote a proactive approach to their care management including medication adherence support. The delivery of such support needs to be in line with generally stretched clinical provider budgets. If you're interested in collaborating with Dr. Bakhai, please email me at, letting me know your current focus and details of how your innovation is working towards improving either of the two outlined areas.Dr. Bakhai’s presentation also included his personal recommendations on focus for:

  1. Digital health companies: collate fragmented care, enhance data fetch, facilitate modelling, empower wisdom, nudge behaviour, challenge inaction, enable access, untether
  2. Clinic setting with patients: enable uncertainty discussions faster, allow focus, enhance preparation, enhance care scrutiny, enhance patient experience
  3. Beyond the clinic – public setting:allow scrutiny on the environment, gain insights, preempt, detect variations, debate, reduce learning time. 

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