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Heather Ross
Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Scientific Lead at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, will lead the study. (Photo: UHN)

The Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is collaborating with Apple, Inc., to give heart failure patients even more control over their health, and usher in a new era of remote monitoring possibilities.

The study will investigate how physiological signals from Apple Watch – such as heart rate and the new blood oxygen feature –can help with better management of heart failure with the goal of driving better clinical outcomes for heart failure patients.

The study will be led by Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology at UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) and Scientific Lead at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and participation will be by invitation to heart failure patients receiving care at the PMCC.

Traditionally, management and assessment of congestive heart failure patients takes place in a clinic, utilizing a number of diagnostic exercise tests that are expensive and can be difficult for some patients. This study will investigate the ability for patients to perform these assessments in the comfort of their own home.

"Congestive heart failure is one of the most serious heart conditions that can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for millions of persons around the world," said Dr. Ross. "Understanding and learning how physiologic signals from Apple Watch and iPhone can be utilized, may lead to innovative solutions for management of this disease and allow us to intervene early and prevent poor clinical outcomes."

The study will launch later this year with privacy and transparency for participants as a priority. All user data will be encrypted, and participants have the ability to opt-out at any time.

Dr. Ross, a world-renowned cardiologist, leads a team of clinician-scientists that are setting the standard of care and research for heart failure patients both in Canada, and around the world.

"Our team is always asking ourselves how we can meaningfully improve patient outcomes for what has become the most rapidly rising cardiovascular disease in Canada," explains Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director and Chair of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "We look forward to joining with the team at Apple to continue transforming the future of heart failure management."

UHN is the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, and is uniquely positioned with both talent, and infrastructure, to lead this important research.

"The combination of Apple Inc., the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is a very exciting partnership, said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of University Health Network. "When I think of what may be possible for patients and clinicians, it underlines the importance of thinking in new ways about giving people the care they need where they would like to receive it – in their home.

"Apple is known for innovation around the world and it will be exciting to have our researchers and clinicians working with them on the devices of the future."


 

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