Webinar: Digital transformation of the heart failure pathway in Greater Manchester

Presenter: Cara Afzal – Senior Programme Lead – Health Innovation Manchester

Tuesday 21st January, 1:30pm-2:30pm

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Topics covered: Implantable Devices, AI, Machine Learning, Cardiovascular, Digital Transformation, Remote Monitoring.

Webinar Overview

Cardiovascular disease is a major health priority in Greater Manchester (GM) with higher mortality and morbidity rates than the UK average.

  • 25,000 people have diagnosed heart failure – just under 1% of the GM population.
  • During 2015/16 there were 4330 admissions in GM with a primary diagnosis of heart failure
  • The cost of these admissions is over £17m to Greater Manchester’s healthcare economy

There is emerging evidence that many of these admissions can be avoided to deliver benefits to patients and to the healthcare economy.

Around 2,500 patients in GM with heart failure have implantable devices (pacemakers or defibrillators) which already transmit data onto a cloud platform (including thoracic impedance, arrhythmia burden, percentage of pacing, diurnal heart rate variability and patient activity). Our industry, academic and health and care partners are using an algorithm to detect early deterioration from data flows from approximately 500 of these patients and their devices. These insights flow in near real time into a new operating model for identifying heart failure earlier and for treating heart failure at home.

The project aims to demonstrate that optimised remote monitoring care pathways can potentially translate into improved outcomes for patients and the health economy by detecting early deterioration and facilitating timely intervention. Data is being used to demonstrate the efficacy of the intervention and run machine learning algorithms to improve prediction. We are also using real world evidence and artificial intelligence (AI) to look for missed opportunities for implantable devices (for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes) and to accelerate the deployment of devices to a wider population suitable for these treatments.

The project commenced in February 2019 and is demonstrating that data from the devices can be used to create actionable insights to improve treatment and care

During the webinar, Dr. Ben Bridgewater will introduce the project, the technology/data science driving the innovation and sharing the latest results from the project.

More information on the Smart Hearts programme is available here.

Intended audience

Clinicians and digital transformation leads with an interest in Cardiology and the role that digital can play.


Cara Afzal – Senior Programme Lead – Health Innovation Manchester

Cara is working as part of Greater Manchester’s ASHN, Health Innovation Manchester (HInM), to help GM’s healthcare system transform the way it introduces innovations into practice. She is an advanced improvement practitioner/implementation lead with over 20 years’ experience of cross-sector working including academia, healthcare and local government sectors.

As Senior Programme Development Lead at HInM, Cara is charged with leading the cardiovascular disease and mental health programmes, and the National Innovation Accelerator and Rapid Uptake Product roll out. Her work includes engaging with local, national and international researchers and innovators to realise the ambition for healthcare improvements and their introduction at pace and scale in GM.