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American College of Cardiology Study Tests Value of Digital Health in Care Management

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   May 13, 2022

The latest version of the ACC's three-year-old series of TRANSFORM studies, being conducted in Boston and Kansas City, will test whether underserved patients living with chronic cardiovascular concerns can be better managed through a digital health platform that includes wearables and AI tools.

The American College of Cardiology is studying whether digital health technology like wearables and AI can be used to improve care management for people with chronic cardiovascular conditions.

The ACC is partnering with Boston-based Biofourmis on the third and latest phase of its TRANSFORM study, which was launched in 2019 to “leverage EHR data, office-based interventions and partnerships to include the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, health plans, employers, clinicians, and patients.” The latest phase focuses on improving guideline-directed medication therapy (GDMT) in care management.

“TRANSFORM3 will provide real-world data on how cardiologists and other clinicians can more effectively and efficiently manage chronic cardiovascular conditions in underserved populations,” Megan Welch, MD, TRANSFORM3 investigator team member and cardiovascular disease fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a press release issued by Biofourmis. “Through technology-enabled approaches, we are hopeful that providers will have timely, meaningful awareness of their patients’ health status and adherence to guideline-recommended therapies. Ultimately, what we learn from TRANSFORM3 could lead to accelerated adoption of effective, evidence-based care plans that optimize outcomes and help patients lead longer, healthier lives.”

Researchers aim to study whether devices and platforms that monitor patients throughout the day can improve care outcomes, particularly in patients who can’t or won’t see a doctor on a regular basis. One of the primary benefits behind these remote patient monitoring platforms is that they can establish the baseline for a specific patient and raise an alarm when data indicates a concerning trend, allowing care providers to act quickly to avert a health crisis.

The “Evaluation of Implementation Strategies of Teaching, Technology, and Teams to Optimize Medical Therapy in Cardiovascular Disease (T3),” study will focus on patients living with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), atrial fibrillation, or cardiovascular risk with type 2 diabetes.

The latest study is broken into three branches. One will focus on patient education (Teach); a second will use digital health devices and AI tools, along with “frontline virtual health navigators” supplied by Biofourmis (Teams) to serve as the first line of resource and help patients manage their care; and the third will use digital health devices and AI tools to improve care management for local care providers (Technology).

The study will be lead by a team of Harvard Medical School clinicians based at Mass General, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City.

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.

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