Ground-breaking project aims to minimize complications after cardiac surgery

Ground-breaking project aims to minimize complications after cardiac surgery

A ground-breaking project is underway at Hamilton Health Sciences’ Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) to address a major medical issue in Canada and around the world: too many patients develop complications after having cardiac and vascular surgery, resulting in re-admission to hospital soon after they have been discharged home.

The SMArTVIEW system uses wireless, wearable technology that monitors a patient’s vital signs in hospital after their surgery, and once they go home. If the technology detects anything unusual, the hospital is alerted. The technology aims to prevent post-surgical complications, including infections and blood clots, and reduce post-surgical emergency room visits and re-admissions to hospital. SMArTVIEW will also link patients directly with nurses at the hospital so they can receive education and support during their recovery.

“As many as eight per cent of patients will have complications after cardiac or vascular surgery,” says Dr. PJ Devereaux, cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences, perioperative research lead at PHRI, and co-principal investigator for SMArTVIEW. “The rate of complications post-op far exceed those in the operating room, where patients are being closely monitored and the surgical team can act quickly if problems arise.”

“The rate of complications post-op far exceed those in the operating room.”

SMArTVIEW is one of 15 projects that received funding in the first round of Ontario’s $20-million Health Technologies Fund (HTF). The fund is administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS), and is a part of the OCHIS mandate to strengthen Ontario’s health innovation ecosystem.

“The Health Technologies Fund is already having an impact in the health system because of the collaborations it has created between health service providers, health technology innovators and patients,” says William Charnetski, Ontario’s Chief Health Innovation Strategist. “We are finding new ways to solve our greatest challenges by harnessing the power of innovation to provide better care while creating jobs in Ontario.”

“These digital health projects demonstrate why investment through the Health Technologies Fund is so important. People are more comfortable than ever using digital technology in their everyday lives and they expect the same kind interaction of their health system,” says Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “With these new tools, health care will become even faster and simpler for patients to use in their homes and communities.

With a proven track record of delivering programs on behalf of the Ontario government, OCE was selected to deliver the HTF and assist in driving the development of made-in-Ontario healthcare technology while supporting economic growth, co-investing to commercialize innovation and fostering partnerships and collaboration in the health system.

“People are more comfortable than ever using digital technology in their everyday lives and they expect the same kind interaction of their health system.”

“Healthcare is a priority sector in Ontario and globally, so it makes sense that OCE works with publicly-funded healthcare service providers, patients, academia and industry to find innovative ways to improve patient outcomes and experience by supporting the demonstration of health tech through the Health Technologies Fund,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO.

“We’re very appreciative of the support for SMArTVIEW and the recognition of its potential to dramatically improve outcomes for patients,” says Dr. Michael McGillion, assistant dean of research at the school of nursing, McMaster University and co-principal investigator for the SMArTVIEW project.

The SMArTVIEW project is in partnership with project contributors Philips Healthcare, QoC Health Inc., ThoughtWire Corp, CloudDX, XAHIVE Inc., Argyle Public Relationships, and Ontario Telemedicine Network.

For more information, please visit the Health Technologies Fund website.