What's the future of cardiology - it's digital and patient engaged at ESC 2018.

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Just back home from the ESC (European Society of Cardiology), the world’s largest cardiovascular meeting gathering almost 35,000 professionals. One of the boiling pots of this year’s meeting in Munich was the Digital Health pavilion.

Like a hyper-magnet, and cramped with visitors, the pavilion attracted the curiosity and interest of many of the world leaders in cardiology, as well as the industry. All on a joint mission to transform and improve the way cardiac disease is detected and treated.

I was honored to present Coala in a scientific session including great and admirable industry peers such as iRhythm and Alivecor. I presented some of our real-life data from the hundreds of thousands of analyzed ECG’s and insights of ongoing, groundbreaking studies using our platform.

By using the Coala and its cloud platform for instant analysis and analytics, researchers have the ability to detect and intervene as needed during the course of the study. In the RedHeart Study, we helped to recruit more than 1,000 women-only study participants in just 48 hours just by using the power of social media, and where the women are followed over 8 weeks to assess palpitations, quality of life and other endpoints.

The ability to instantly detect disease and divert a clinical trial participant for treatment in any monitoring trial should be considered best practice.

A digital tornado

We’re certainly in the midst of a disruptive tornado of industry change. With the healthcare industry still being less digitally transformed than i.e. the oil and mining industry, there is so much exciting to come.

We noted as exhibitors of the ESC 2018 a strong drive and demand for digital, patient engaged solutions enabling long-term predictive monitoring in daily life. Short-term continuous ECG remains inadequate in providing satisfactory clinical diagnostic yields.

The Coala is developed to enable patient engaged analysis over unlimited periods of time, not just a few days. And by using direct connectivity to our smart cloud, we offer outstanding opportunities for predictive analytics using AI.

Using the power of the patient

The ESC has defined patient involvement as a strategic priority. It’s in-line with their mission ‘to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease’. ESC has recognized that patient engagement represents a powerful mechanism for health care professionals, and this is where digital health offers such outstanding potential opportunities.

The Coala Heart Monitor is powered by the individual. Instant analysis and simple connectivity for the clinician. Monitoring at a fraction of typical industry price levels, no needs to download data from a data collector for later analysis, and the more its used, the smarter it gets.

Supportive guidelines in place

The ESC guidelines state that patient involvement should be considered to encourage self-management. Opportunistic screening for Atrial Fibrillation has been recommended at ≥65 years by ESC guidelines since 2012.

Yet screening tools need to be cost-effective and highly sensitive and specific to reduce the amount of false negatives and unnecessary burden on healthcare. Coala has shown industry leading accuracy and precision, with a patient driven digital solution.

As an example, new research from Sweden presented at ESC concluded that manual pulse palpation had a very low positive predictive value resulting in a high proportion of false positive results. Sensitivity for manual pulse palpation was modest, with only 6 percent of patients experiencing irregular pulse actually being diagnosed with AF. And furthermore, AF was found in almost equal amounts of patients that did not have a manually detected irregular pulse.

The journey continues

We left Munich with a briefcase of business cards and inspiring interest from professionals from over 30 countries. We were excited to see excellent digital solutions on the market, from advanced patches to apps. Each with its positioning and contributions to the patient. The future will likely involve several solutions tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

An excellent conclusion is that of Dave Fornell, editor of the Diagnostic and Interventional cardiology magazine (DAIC): “The future standard of care will likely be online, real-time monitoring combined with smart algorithms or artificial intelligence.”

But the future of cardiology is already here – let’s just get into practice across the globe.

Let's connect to make this happen.

Philip Siberg, Coala Life AB