TRANSFORM HF announces its 2022 Collaboration Starter Grant recipients
TRANSFORM HF’s Collaboration Starter Grant Winners were celebrated at the intiative’s May 3 networking event. L-R: Craig Simmons (TRANSFORM HF co-lead), Joe Cafazzo, Emily Seto, Shumit Saha, Heather Ross (TRANSFORM HF co-lead). Missing: Jay Shaw.
Our Collaboration Starter Grants support members of our community working together by funding the initial activities of collaborative projects that align with the TRANSFORM HF mission. These activities can include preliminary project research and data collection, patient or Knowledge Keeper compensation, meeting facilitation, and proposal writing.
We are pleased to announce the recipients of our 2022 Collaboration Starter Grants:
- Joe Cafazzo (Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; Executive Director, Biomedical Engineering, UHN)
- Shumit Saha (Scientific Associate, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation)
- Emily Seto (Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; Affiliated Faculty, Techna Institute; Affiliated Researcher, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation)
- Jay Shaw (Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy; Research Director, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics & Health, Joint Centre for Bioethics; Scientist, Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care).
Read more about each recipient’s project below.
Speech Production Analysis to Estimate Heart Failure Decompensation
Decompensated heart failure is associated with fluid retention, which can result in altered voice features. This pilot study will investigate the effect of decompensated heart failure on speech production through the Medly app, integrating sex and gender considerations to account for the fundamental differences in male and female voices.
Through this research, the team will lead a new line of development for an easily accessible and reliable tool to predict and prevent heart failure decompensation.
We are grateful to TRANSFORM HF for the support of our work to push the envelope of what is possible in the science of digital biomarkers from the free-living of people living with heart failure.
We believe we can detect biomarkers in the speech of decompensating patients, creating a potential ubiquitous measure that does not require medical devices or wearables which can be costly, limiting the access to these types of innovations to the most privileged. Our hope is to create technologies that are the most equitable, accessible, and effective. Thank you to TRANSFORM HF for their continued support to this end.
Identifying Potential Barriers to Automatic Titration of Guideline Directed Medical Therapy for Patients with Heart Failure
This project seeks to optimize an already developed rules-based auto-titration algorithm for Guideline Directed Medical Therapy (GDMT) through patient and clinician interviews. These interviews will help identify potential barriers to implementing the auto-titration model and shape the model’s user interface.
This will be the first study to explore the potential implementation process of automated titration of GDMT. Next steps include the inception of an automated heart failure therapy delivery model.
The latest treatment for patients living with heart failure involves a complex medication protocol that aims at achieving target doses of four medications within six months of initial diagnosis. Despite research showing improved outcomes of this approach, less than 10% of patients achieve these targets.
This project, with a diverse group of TRANSFORM HF collaborators, will optimize a novel Auto-Titration program that enables patients to achieve these doses on time. The goal is to create a faster way of titrating life-saving therapy for heart failure patients using patient-centered design approach.
International Collaboration to Transform Heart Failure Care Models Facilitated by Virtual Care Technologies
This project will support the creation of an international network of researchers, patients, clinicians, industry partners, and other stakeholders in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia for the development of a grant application. Aimed at advancing care models of heart failure (and other chronic diseases) that are facilitated by technologies, the application’s ultimate intent is to enable equitable and high-quality virtual care.
The partner countries have similar challenges with underserved communities due to rurality and other social determinants of health, including Indigenous communities in the case of Canada and Australia.
By forming this network, we will endeavor to work together to determine the best models of heart failure care facilitated by technologies that will be grounded in community-based participatory research and patient experience to increase equitable access to health care.
A Pan-Canadian Analysis of Policy Frameworks to Promote Health Equity in Virtual Care
Through interviews and workshops, this project will 1) investigate how strategies to promote engagement with virtual care technologies among structurally marginalized communities fit within existing Canadian policy frameworks and 2) seek to understand the perceived need among policy stakeholders for policies that enhance access to virtual care for structurally marginalized communities in Canada. The research team will prepare a tri-council grant submission as a final step of the project.
This grant will support the strengthening of a pan-Canadian research team committed to advancing health equity in digital health.
Our team is focused on building a policy framework that can inform efforts to promote health equity in digital health in very complex environments, which requires attention to different levels of government and many different actors in systems across the country. These funds will help plant seeds for larger projects with bigger impact as our work evolves.