Breaking the bias in cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women globally.1 BHF-funded research suggests that over a 10-year period, more than 8,200 women’s lives were needlessly lost in England and Wales because they didn’t receive the same standard of care as men.2
Decades of research have improved cardiac care and treatment, but women continue to have worse outcomes than men. Multiple factors are thought to contribute to this problem, including misconceptions that CVD is a ‘man’s disease’, a higher likelihood of initial misdiagnosis and reduced or delayed access to life-saving treatments and care.
With recent advances in digital health, we’ve never been in a better position to address the inequalities women face in awareness, treatment and care.
Empowering patients and practitioners
Traditional care pathways depend on women being able to spot symptoms and seek treatment. But we know that women are less likely to recognise they are suffering from a cardiac event.
Remote patient monitoring can remove the pressure on patients to recognise signs and monitor their own health. Huma’s ‘hospital at home’ technology prompts patients to continually share their symptoms, but it’s the clinical team who makes the decision on when they need to get in touch. Our patient app can also provide educational content about symptoms, care and treatment to improve patient awareness of their condition.
Our technology helps clinicians to gather more detailed insights and review a wider range of symptoms. This means they don't just have to rely on snapshots of patients on a particular day.
In collaboration with Cwm Taf and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Boards we used our ‘hospital at home’ technology to help manage heart failure conditions. The project showed that our technology can support clinical teams to monitor patient progress, identify patients who needed extra care and optimise patients faster.
“Part of what we do is to teach patients if their symptoms are deteriorating or improving, and tell them to get in touch if they think they’re heading in the wrong direction,” explains Viki Jenkins, Community Nursing at BCUHB who was involved in the project. “However, we’re relying on them to engage with their health, and we find that some patients worry that they’re bothering us and are reluctant to get in touch.
“With Huma’s technology, it’s easy for us to spot when a patient’s signs and symptoms are heading in the wrong direction. This allows us to respond sooner.”
Improving research participation
Historically, women have been underrepresented in research, which means that most of our existing clinical evidence comes from studies largely conducted in men.
A recent review of over 700 cardiovascular clinical trials3 found that women account for roughly 38% of the total participants. So why are women underrepresented in cardiovascular trials? According to a report from the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee4, barriers to participation include:
- Logistical issues- Barriers relating to financial and caregiver requirements may disproportionately affect women.
- Age- Women with CVD are generally older and more likely to have comorbidities than men. This can mean they are excluded from trials.
- Lower rates of referral- Women are less likely to be referred to cardiologists or tertiary care services and as a result could have a lower chance of meeting clinicians recruiting for clinical trials.
Decentralized clinical trials can lift barriers to participation, allowing participants to take part wherever they are in the world, and when it suits them. This could be particularly important for women in employment and those with caring responsibilities so they don’t have to take time off or schedule care, or for women who are older or have comorbidities that may find it difficult to travel for onsite visits.
To include older patients, or those with comorbidities, in decentralized clinical trials, platforms need to provide good assurance that they can safely monitor these high-risk patients remotely. This is where having real-world healthcare experience of monitoring complex patients becomes important. Work we’ve done with Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals has shown that our platform can safely monitor hundreds of at-risk cardiac patients with almost 90 per cent specificity.
Digital tools enable researchers to access larger, more diverse participant pools and could help counteract gender differences in cardiac referral rates. Our project with Bayer, Stanford Medicine and the Stanford Center for Digital Health to deliver a scalable, fully decentralized cardiovascular intervention trial for participants with atrial fibrillation shows digital-first recruitment strategies are a viable option. We were able to recruit 94% of participants in just 12 days.5
When it comes to improving equity in research, we’re starting to see progress in the right direction. One of our recent studies, which was picked up by over 2000 media outlets, covered a population that was 57.9% female6. But we must continue to ensure that the people we really need to contribute to scientific research are able and empowered to do so.
Our commitment to understanding bias
Unfortunately all research comes with some bias. If we don’t recognise and understand what biases there are in research, we’ll never be able to fully address them and ensure that the evidence we generate is relevant to everyone across society.
As we move towards digital-first research we need to identify any bias that exists with these approaches too. That’s why at Huma we’re working with the University of Cambridge on a unique study that will help us understand the bias in decentralized clinical trials. Our platform is being used to remotely collect data from nearly 2,500 participants from the Fenland cohort to help researchers understand the progression of COVID-19 infection and build predictive models for pre-symptomatic infection.
By embedding our technology in an existing traditional research study, we can get valuable insights into who takes part in digital research, how they engage and understand what we can do to encourage them. We hope that when we publish our results it’ll provide useful information for the whole industry to ensure we bring everyone along with the digital revolution.
- GBD 2019 Diseases and Injuries Collaborators. Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990-2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Lancet. 2020 Oct 17;396(10258):1204-1222. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30925-9.
- Wilkinson C et al. Sex differences in quality indicator attainment for myocardial infarction: a nationwide cohort study Heart 2019; 105:516-523
- Jin X et al. Women's Participation in Cardiovascular Clinical Trials From 2010 to 2017. Circulation. 2020 Feb 18;141(7):540-548. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043594. Epub 2020 Feb 17. PMID: 32065763.
- Cho L et al. Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee Leadership Council. Increasing Participation of Women in Cardiovascular Trials: JACC Council Perspectives. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Aug 17;78(7):737-751. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.06.022. PMID: 34384555.
- Publication in production.
- Shahram Nikbakhtian et al. Accelerometer-derived sleep onset timing and cardiovascular disease incidence: a UK Biobank cohort study, European Heart Journal - Digital Health 2021 Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 658–666
AI detects patients at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality
Peer-reviewed research published in Nature Scientific Reports
Atos and Huma support Symbiosis Hospital to expand care capacity
Huma’s ‘hospital at home’ technology will expand care capacity in Pune, India by up to 60%
Breaking the bias in cardiovascular disease
How digital-first care and research can address the gender bias in cardiovascular disease
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A study testing if a cardiac trial could be run entirely remotely found rapid recruitment, high engagement and that patients with low baseline increased their medication adherence from 85% to 96%.
Digital support against Covid-19 in Germany
Press release: German states focus on patient care via app
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Patient safety may be paramount across healthcare, but we are a long way from ‘first, do no harm’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that medication errors cause US$ 42 billion of global total health expenditure worldwide, 50% of the overall preventable harm in medical care.
FT 1000: Huma named Europe's fastest growing healthcare company
Press release: Huma listed in the Top 25 for all sectors
Fierce biotech webinar
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Our Global Clinical Directors Arrash Yassaee and Peter Kirpalani-Collins explain the importance of clinical rigour and evidence generation in digital health and how we’re doing things differently here at Huma.
HSJ Value Awards 2021
Huma has been shortlisted as a finalist for the HSJ Value Awards 2021.
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Expectations are high when you hold people’s lives in your hands, so it is little wonder that physicians report emotional exhaustion and feeling overextended, plus a feeling of depersonalization.
How can digital solutions empower and support heart failure patients?
We launched a 12-week remote patient monitoring pilot with Cwm Taf and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Boards
How decentralized and hybrid trials can drive efficiencies beyond the pandemic
Huma’s Nico O'Kuinghttons discusses how we can drive more efficient decentralized and hybrid clinical trials post-pandemic
How our digital CVD risk model can help reduce avoidable deaths
Our research was published in European Heart Journal Digital Health (EHJ-DH)
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How we help tackle cardiac surgical waiting lists
We worked with Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals to remotely monitor and prioritise deteriorating patients.
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Huma has appointed Kaushik Gune as the company’s new U.S. Head of Healthcare
Huma acquires iPLATO Healthcare to advance digital-first delivery of care
The two companies will combine their expertise to provide remote patient monitoring for NHS patients
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Huma acquires AstraZeneca’s digital health platform AMAZE™ and AstraZeneca becomes a shareholder of Huma
Huma and RARE-X partner to accelerate research
Press release: RARE-X’s federated data platform will pair with Huma’s DCT platform to accelerate research
Huma and Tamer bring digital ‘hospital at home’ platform to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tamer will bring Huma’s ‘hospitals at home’ technology to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tackle diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Huma announces US expansion
Press release: Experienced industry leaders create founding US Huma team
Huma appoints Shahram Sharif as Chief Business Officer - Medtech to accelerate digital-first use in the medtech industry
Sharif joins Huma to lead business development activities for digital companion app product
Huma calls for safeguarding of scientific collaboration
CEO & Founder Dan Vahdat speaks at World Economic Forum event in Davos.
Huma collaborates with Bayer to advance precision treatment for lung cancer
Medical technology powered using artificial intelligence
Huma finds way to measure breathing rate using entry-level smartphone gyroscopes
Huma researchers have verified a way to measure breathing rate using the gyroscopes in entry-level smartphones.
Huma joins forces with independent healthcare provider to launch virtual ward service for the NHS
Huma and Xyla Elective Care will work together to deliver tech-enabled virtual wards for the NHS
Huma raises $130 million financing to scale its digital health platform for better care and research
Leading names in health and technology fund expansion
Huma wins prestigious Prix Galien USA 2021 award
Huma’s remote patient monitoring technology is awarded ‘pharma’s Nobel Prize’
Huma wins ‘best of the best’ Prix Galien International 2022 award
Huma has won the Prix Galien International 2022 ‘best of the best digital health product’ award for the impact of its remote patient monitoring platform across healthcare and research.
Huma’s collaborative Covid-19 project wins HSJ Value Award
Our teams enabled better patient care and doubled clinical capacity with our hospital at home technology.
Huma’s peer-reviewed research links bedtime with heart health
Our peer-reviewed research explored the link between time of sleep and risk of cardiovascular disease in over 88,000 people
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Overall, adaptive trials are more efficient, take less time to complete, and need fewer participants. By allowing for pre-planned modifications to a trial’s design after it has begun, adaptive trials make much better use of resources and money.
Keeping patients safe at home with virtual wards
Digital health has an important role to play in reducing patient harm and improving safety. This blog explores some of the key challenges, insights and learnings that enable safer patient care when using digital technology.
Key themes from this year's MedTech Conference 2022
MedTech Conference 2022, in Boston, one of MedTech’s leading annual events, has wrapped up, and we caught up with our Huma MedTech team to get the low down on all the industry buzz from this year's show.
Mediclinic Middle East launches Mediclinic at Home
A new remote care monitoring system for patients suffering from chronic conditions
Microsoft White Paper: Trends Shaping the Future of Clinical Trials
Microsoft explores the future of clinical trials and how decentralization, using tools like Huma’s, could be the key to shaping their future.
NHS Long Term Plan Webinar Series
How digital technology is helping to battle the growing waiting list backlog
Pharma and digital health must join forces for patients
Dan Vahdat, CEO and Founder of Huma, discusses how we are working with pharma partners to improve clinical outcomes through digital health solutions.
Powering COVID-19 virtual wards for better patient outcomes
Researchers have found that COVID-19 mortality rates were up to four times lower and hospital stays decreased by forty percent with Huma’s technology¹.
Remote patient monitoring pilot shortlisted for two prestigious HSJ Awards
The project has been nominated in the ‘Digitising Patient Care’ category at the HSJ Awards and ‘Virtual or Remote Care Initiative of the Year’ category at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards.
Smith+Nephew partner with Huma
Press release: Smith+Nephew and Huma develop RPM app to assist the restart of UK orthopaedic surgery
Taking the ‘clinic’ out of clinical trials
Bridging research and care with digital tools
Ten highlights from 2021, our 10th anniversary year
How we’re helping ~two million users across our platforms and people around the world live longer, fuller lives
Three ways that digital-first care can improve patient safety
During the COVID-19 pandemic the public were under quarantine orders preventing many patients from seeking care. A study on remote-patient monitoring showed that digital-first care provided a safe and effective option for patients with COVID-19.
Virtual Wards vital to help NHS tackle ‘substantial’ pressures
Huma welcome the Government’s announcement to accelerate the roll out of digital technology to provide an extra 2,500 virtual ward ‘beds’¹.
Webinar: Advancing digital-first delivery of care
Huma and iPLATO (myGP) hosted a joint webinar on how we can bring digital-first care to patients at scale
Webinar: Bridging the digital divide for improved patient diversity
Huma joined leading industry experts for a Reuters Events webinar on fostering diversity in decentralized and hybrid clinical trials
Webinar: Bringing the hospital home via digital virtual wards
Watch our webinar with leaders from the NHS and the AHSH Network.
Webinar: Empowering patients and relieving pressure on the NHS
Learn how Huma’s technology helps clinicians improve outcomes for heart failure patients and identify deteriorating cardiac surgery patients with almost 90% specificity
What Huma has learned from COVID-19
Three important lessons on how COVID-19 is shaping modern medicine
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Huma & iPLATO (myGP) join to create new possibilities in healthcare and research
World Patient Safety Day: supporting medicine safety with digital tools
For World Patient Safety Day in 2022, our Global Clinical Director Peter Kirpalani-Collins explains how digital healthcare tools can help keep patients safe by monitoring their symptoms and medication use.