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HEARTEN will warn patients when they risk heart failure

Image courtesy Patrick J. Lynch, Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Heart failure (HF) is a disease experienced globally by 26 million people. A new EU-funded project will monitor breath, saliva, and other symptoms of HF and send smartphone alerts to HF patients every time they find themselves in a critical situation.

The HEARTEN project will develop biosensors that detect and quantify novel breath and saliva HF biomarkers that reflect the health status of the patient and identify whether the patient adheres to the administered drugs.

Breath biosensor integrated into smartphone

The breath biosensor will be integrated into the smartphone while the saliva biosensor will be integrated into the patient's cup.

Additional sensors for monitoring the electrocardiogram (ECG), the blood pressure, and the physical activity constitute the sensor kit of the patient. The input data are complemented with nutritional information from the patient's smartphone and weight monitoring through wireless weight scales, as well as the patient's profile and information directly added by caregivers and healthcare professionals.

These multi-parametric data are then transmitted to the HEARTEN cloud reference architecture, where a knowledge-management system analyzes them and delivers critical information, providing alerts, guidelines, trends, and predictive models to the patient and healthcare professionals.

Empowered in self-management

By using their smartphones and tracking their medical vital signs, HF patients will be empowered in self-management. Healthcare professionals and caregivers can issue warnings, coordinate therapies, improve adherence, and intervene before frailty incidences occur.

"In HEARTEN, the patient has a central role in the corresponding ecosystem and is empowered through an easy-to-use sensor kit and apps to manage his or her status," says project coordinator Abdelhamid Errachid of the University of Lyon in France. "As our newly developed personalized system empowers direct and immediate indication of disease conditions such as metabolic or oxidative stress, it will not only help to avoid critical situations but also support and educate the patient to reduce conditions leading to such situations and therefore support health education and self-management in general."

Project background

The recognition of non-adherent HF patients is important since, even if these patients are fortunate to have at their disposal a plethora of guidelines and health-based knowledge, the integration of this knowledge in their life becomes difficult. Developing and delivering an ICT-cooperative environment that will enable the HF patients to achieve sustainable behavior change regarding their adherence and compliance is a significant challenge.

The three-year HEARTEN project is funded through the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union, with twelve partners from six European countries; three universities, two research centres, five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one industry partner, and one healthcare authority partner.

The HEARTEN consortium has joined forces to engage all actors related to the management of patients suffering from HF towards developing a multi-stakeholder, patient-centered mobile-health ('mHealth') ecosystem.

This article is reproduced from the European Commission website (© European Union, 1995-2015). It has been edited to conform with the iSGTW style guide

To find out more about the project, including a full list of consortium partners, please visit the HEARTEN website.

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