December 10th, 2019

// Innovative project launched using advanced digital technology to transform management of complex care for patients with heart failure

Innovative project launched using advanced digital technology to transform management of complex care for patients with heart failure

Continuum is a large-scale project developed by a partnership of CRCHUM, Greybox Solutions Inc., MEDTEQ and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada

MONTREAL, Dec. 9, 2019 /CNW/ – Montreal’s innovation professionals are coming together to provide an advanced technological solution to help care more effectively for patients with heart failure and multiple other conditions such as diabetes.

Called Continuum, the research collaboration is led by the team of Dr. François Tournoux, a cardiologist and researcher at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM). The project seeks to understand how advanced digital technology can help health professionals and patients suffering from multiple serious medical conditions to jointly manage their treatment plan at home to reduce hospital readmissions. Continuum will also create a vast database that could be used by artificial intelligence (AI) in the future to develop further care innovations.

The project has been developed by CRCHUM in partnership with Greybox Solutions Inc., a Montreal–based innovative business dedicated to providing digital solutions to improve people’s lives; MEDTEQ, a pan-Canadian consortium funded by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and designed to fast-track development in tandem with innovative health technology; and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada, a company committed to developing solutions beyond breakthrough medication to improve health care and change patient experience.

Heart failure and diabetes are leading causes of hospitalization in Quebec and across Canada, with many patients often needing to return to hospital after being discharged. An important reason for this is the difficulty of maintaining at home the complex medical care these patients need on an on-going basis to manage the many symptoms and potential complications of their conditions. 

Continuum will examine how digital technology can support health care professionals in managing these complex cases with the patient at home, while keeping treatment aligned with Canadian guidelines for management of heart failure and diabetes. In addition to optimizing care for most patients, the project will seek greater participation by them in their own care and will provide the tools for them to do so. 

The first pilot phase of Continuum has been launched at the CHUM and will then be extended to other hospitals across Quebec. The Continuum project has established a rich and diverse ecosystem for patients, clinicians, researchers and technological and pharmaceutical professionals to come together to develop, assess and set up innovative tools for making a difference in the lives of patients suffering from chronic diseases. Partners in this multi-sector project have one goal: improve people’s health around the world with an innovative technological solution. 

This project takes advantage of the extensive Montreal-based expertise available in the diverse fields involved. It will create a number of new full-time positions in this emerging field of medical technology at both Greybox and the CHUM. Other full-time positions will be created through initiatives related to the partnership. 

Quotes
Continuum is an innovative program that may change how we provide care for patients suffering from serious chronic diseases. Our goal is to improve their health, avoid rehospitalization and reduce the use of health care resources. This fascinating emerging technology and our multi-faceted partnership can help us reach our goal.” 
– Dr. François Tournoux, cardiologist and researcher at CRCHUM and Continuum program leader

“The integration of new technologies is increasingly playing a prominent role in medical care and health care systems. To better meet patients’ and citizens’ needs, it is vital we make use of the potential of technology. With the Continuum research project we are paving the way with our partners not only to improve complex health care but also improve the patient experience and strengthen the partner-patient role.”  
– Dr. Fabrice Brunet, CEO, CHUM

Continuum has applied the TAKECARE technology that Greybox has been developing since its inception in 2013. We are pleased to know that Montreal-based patients are benefitting from our technology. We are sure that the technology will not only provide better results for patients but also better results for our health care system.” 
– Pierre Bérubé, CEO and Founder, Greybox Solutions Inc.

“High-quality care delivery for patients suffering from serious chronic diseases requires excellent teamwork on behalf of the patient and care team. MEDTEQ wishes to promote collaboration that makes a difference in our health care system. Continuum is an example of key partners collaborating to make a difference by using engaging new technology.” 
– Diane Côté, President and CEO, MEDTEQ

“As a family-owned business, Boehringer Ingelheim is constantly fine-tuning transformative health care solutions that not only help patients and their families but also provide the health care system with more efficient care. Our partnership with Continuum plays a key role in our commitment to foster innovative change and improve the health of Canadians.” 
– Andrea Sambati, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.  

“This unique partnership brings together the driving forces of the biopharmaceutical, research and digital health sectors to develop innovative solutions to solve chronic health problems that affect many Quebecers. This project will significantly increase the quality of care provided to the population and demonstrate once again the expertise, innovative capacity and excellence of the Québec life sciences industry.” 
– Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economics and Innovation

Heart failure and diabetes
More than 600,000 Canadians and 160,000 Quebecers suffer from heart failure, a complex chronic illness characterized by the inability of the heart to pump enough blood throughout the body.1,2 Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization in Canada and Quebec.3 Even with a treatment plan, one in five patients (21 per cent) hospitalized for heart failure treatment are re-admitted within 30 days of discharge.4 In 60 per cent of cases, the main reason heart failure patients are rehospitalized is due to other conditions.5

CRCHUM
The Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) is one of North America’s leading hospital research centres with a mission to improve adult health. The research continuum focuses on fields such as basic life sciences, clinical research and public health. Over 1,850 professionals work at CRCHUM, including 542 researchers and 719 students and research interns. For more information, visit chumontreal.qc.ca/crchum @CRCHUM.

Greybox Solutions Inc.
Greybox Solutions Inc. is a growing Montreal–based business specializing in health technology, specifically innovative software development to improve patients’ lives. Its mission is to find digital transformation solutions to meet the many health care system challenges and reduce payers’ heavy load with respect to managing chronic illnesses.

As part of its digital distribution strategy, Greybox works actively with strategic partners to make integration of electronic medical files and other existing systems easier. Greybox distributes TAKECARE, its digital health platform, to redefine the relationship between patients and its health care team.

Greybox has committed itself to integrating with major international IT systems, making a name for itself through its distribution networks, and interfacing with private and public reimbursement processes. For more information, visit greybox.ca.

MEDTEQ
MEDTEQ is a pan-Canadian consortium for industrial research and medical technology innovation. The MEDTEQ mission is to accelerate the development of innovation technology solutions to improve patients’ health and quality of life. MEDTEQ supports the validation and integration of health care system solutions and their impact on the local and international scale, bringing together complementary skills from industrial, university, and health care provider partners. 

MEDTEQ is financially supported by the provincial government, the federal government through its Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR), the private sector, and various partners to promote research and industrial relationships. For more information, visit medteq.ca.

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company. In doing so, the focus is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.

Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the top 20 companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas of human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 3.2 billion euros, corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.

As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.

The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec, and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 600 people across Canada.

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found at boehringer-ingelheim.ca or in its annual report: annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

References

1  National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, What is Heart Failure, available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf   
2  Transform HF, What is heart failure? https://transformhf.com/what_is_HF Quebec statistics based on a prevalence of 3.5%, applied to a population of 8.5 million from Statistics Canada, Population estimates, quarterly. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710000901  
3  Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Hospital stays in Canada, https://www.cihi.ca/en/hospital-stays-in-canada
4  Canadian Institute for Health Information, All-Cause Readmission to Acute Care and Return to the Emergency Department, 2012, p. 8, available at https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/Readmission_to_acutecare_en.pdf
5 Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec, MED-ÉCHO, Fichier des hospitalisations – 2009-10, and Canadian Institute for Health Information, Discharge Abstract Database, 2010-11. 

SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

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