A software product that underpins a remote management service for patients with heart failure has been licensed by the UK digital health company Sensyne Health as part of a strategic research agreement with the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust.
Support-HF is the fourth digital health product to be commercialised by Sensyne Health, formerly Drayson Health, as part of the five-year agreement, established in July 2017.
The software product, which will support patients and clinicians in managing heart failure and curate data for medical research using Clinical AI, was developed by The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford and OUH.
Following six years of R&D and a 30-month, 202-person randomised controlled trial, due to be submitted for publication later this year, Sensyne Health plans to develop a cloud-based scalable version of Support-HF to help support the management of heart failure at home.
Support-HF was developed by Prof Kazem Rahimi and Prof Lionel Tarassenko and their teams, with funding support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Prof Tarassenko is the Oxford BRC’s Theme Lead for Technology and Digital Health.
Prof Rahimi, Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital and Support-HF Chief Investigator at The George Institute for Global Health, said: “This simple software enables heart failure patients to understand and monitor their condition and take control of their treatment in their own homes. An affordable, sustainable system, it has the potential to not only empower patients, but to strengthen the health system to bring specialist knowledge to non-specialists.”
Lord Drayson, CEO of Sensyne Health, commented: “Support HF has the potential to make significant improvements in the care of patients suffering from heart failure and is a further example of the pipeline of innovative digital health innovations coming out of research at Oxford.
“Sensyne Health will now develop the product so that it may be deployed more widely across the NHS and then internationally.”
The collaboration between Sensyne Health, the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust creates a pathway for the commercial development of digital health innovations invented and clinically validated by the University and the Trust.
Support-HF is the latest product to be exclusively licensed to the company by Oxford University Innovation, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford, as part of this collaboration.
Heart failure affects 26 million people worldwide. In the UK, 900,000 patients are estimated to have the disease, with almost as many having damaged hearts who have not yet shown symptoms of heart failure.
Heart failure is currently the leading cause of hospital admissions for those aged 65 years and older, with admissions expected to rise by 50% over the next 25 years. The management of heart failure represents a significant cost burden to the NHS with 1-2% of the total annual budget estimated to be spent on the condition.
Dr James Groves, Senior Licensing and Ventures Manager at Oxford University Innovation, the technology transfer company for the University of Oxford, said: “Support-HF is another example of cutting-edge digital health technology coming out of Oxford, created through the cross-disciplinary collaboration between doctors, engineers and software developers.
“We look forward to seeing this technology making a positive difference to the workload of doctors, the finances of the NHS and the health of patients suffering from heart failure.”
Support-HF is designed to ensure patients are on an optimum treatment plan following NICE guidelines. Support-HF comprises a software application for use on a tablet by heart failure patients, together with a patient monitoring website accessible by healthcare professionals only.
The patients are able to record data and access self-management tools at home via the app whilst healthcare professionals can track their patients’ health remotely and use the data to support clinical decision-making via the website. The patient’s app enables them to record automatically (via Bluetooth) daily vital signs data on blood pressure and weight alongside subjective symptom information that is entered manually.
The application then shares this data with a specialist cardiology care team, who see alerts that are triggered when a patient’s data crosses pre-defined clinical risk thresholds. The care team also maintain a record for each patient on the system, recording data such as blood test results and medication. These data are either automatically pulled from cardiology lab systems or manually entered by the team depending on the Trust’s IT infrastructure.
The care team can view, via the Support-HF system, information comprising data received from the patient, together with data from the patient’s health record and use this combined view of the patient to reach a judgement on the optimum intervention plan for the patient. This plan is then sent via email to the patient’s GP to implement.