CANet is making a difference, helping to save cardiac patients’ lives while encouraging more organizations to join the movement of patient driven healthcare.
With support across Canada, CANet has developed the VIRTUES digital health platform. A platform designed to provide patients with the most relevant medical information, facilitate access to effective care options and connect them with physicians who understand their medical and personal care requirements.
“Our VIRTUES digital health platform utilizes state-of-the-art biosensor-driven diagnostics and health informatics—augmented with advanced analytics and wireless connectivity—to provide cardiac patients access to on-demand virtual care,” says Dr. Anthony Tang, CEO and scientific director, CANet.
VIRTUES is a digital health companion for cardiac patients, always there to answer their questions, support them, and offer the best treatment options and access to relevant caregivers. The platform’s database consists of comprehensive health data, input by patients from multiple sources; analyzed and interpreted for patients and their caregivers.
Patients can access the platform from the comfort of their homes for guideline recommended treatment options and personalized support resources at any time. Healthcare providers of choice can also access patients’ information, no matter their location.
VIRTUES can integrate with any device, including those implanted in the heart, to constantly monitor the device status, as well as the health of the patient, sending notifications to caregivers and offering peace of mind for patients. With the VIRTUES platform at their side, patients can rest assured that they are always prepared to tackle any unexpected event.
Developed in alignment with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and other Canadian healthcare privacy laws, patient information is always secure in the VIRTUES platform. VIRTUES combines data-at-rest and in-transit encryption, firewall, and data backup and replication capabilities.
VIRTUES is not owned by hospitals, businesses, insurance companies, or physicians; it is in the hands of CANet’s patients.
Often, ‘patient engagement is just an afterthought in profit-driven digital health platforms, where patients are involved only at the end of the development process. However, VIRTUES was co-designed by patients, for patients, with a firsthand understanding of the challenges. The platform was designed to be a patient-controlled digital health system from the moment the first code was written, placing it in a league of its own.
Patient-led cardiac research discovery, innovation, and engagement
CANet is a comprehensive network of healthcare professionals, academia, government, industry, not-for-profit, and patients; who perform ground-breaking cardiac research to deliver practical solutions for personal, healthcare, and business applications; while facilitating an equal level of access to care for every patient across the country.
CANet ensures its digital health services are always aligned with evolving patient requirements. It conducts regular virtual health-related studies, spearheaded by a patient working group, to ensure its digital health tools and medical content are always aligned with the unique needs of the patient population. CANet’s patient partners take an active part in enhancing the delivery of educational material to patients.
By bringing advanced virtual communication technologies to the forefront, CANet enables heart patients to get the appropriate care they need no matter where they live. Rather than assuming patient needs, CANet seeks firsthand patient insights and helps them in their care journey. The organization, in this regard, is researching new approaches of leveraging sensors, voice recognition, cloud computing, and data analytics to facilitate remote diagnoses and disease tracking from the comfort of the patient’s home.
Federally funded, CANet is housed in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University.
“CANet is fostering innovation on a grand scale by facilitating
collaboration and data sharing among clinician-scientists, basic scientists, engineers, and social scientists across the country,” says Alan Shepard, President of Western University. “The Network’s contribution to developing novel digital health technologies will allow patients to receive vital and potentially life-saving medical care no matter where they live in the world.”
CANet’s patient-driven research perfectly aligns with Western University’s goal of enhancing targeted treatments for patients in Canada and globally.
CANet will take the competencies of its network beyond cardiac diseases and enhance healthcare accessibility for patients suffering from other chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and lipid disorder. CANet aims to help patients manage their diseases, especially when they need to make crucial lifestyle changes.
As patients seek to take control of their health, CANet is helping them do it effectively.