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Heartbeats not heartbreak for Valentine’s Day 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) are leading an innovative project to transform future stroke and cardiology services in Scotland, with partners including colleagues from Digital Health and Wellness Research Group in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at University of Strathclyde, The Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh Napier University.

Patients in NHS Lanarkshire, who have recently had a stroke, will be the first to wear a new CE marked cardiac ambulatory monitor (Carnation Ambulatory Monitor, CAM, which records the electrocardiogram (ECG) continuously for up to 7 days. The device detects episodes of irregular heart rhythm, arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm with an increased risk of stroke.  Conventional cardiac ambulatory monitors, Holter technology, only monitor for between 24 and 72 hours).

Recording the ECG for a longer period may capture more intermittent arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, where the person is otherwise asymptomatic. Early diagnosis of atrial fibrillation can lead to crucial changes in the patient’s treatment plan to reduce the risk of further stroke. Early diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation will lead to major cost savings to the health care system.

NHS Lanarkshire hopes to transform the existing care pathway by testing these new devices (CAM) as part of their routine service resulting in patients having continuous and extended periods of heart monitoring. This will improve patient care by preventing some recurrent strokes and may also result in people being treated and supported at home rather than in hospital.

Today (14 February 2019) sees the completion of the training and digital device deployment of the new device for arrhythmia detection, including atrial fibrillation. The University of Strathclyde will work with NHS Lanarkshire and DHI to capture and evaluate the experiences of patients as they come through the service and are fitted with the new device (CAM).


Professor George Crooks OBE, Chief Executive Officer of DHI, commented, “It’s fantastic to see this innovative project develop and be adopted by NHS Lanarkshire. A great deal of collaborative work has taken place to make this happen and I want to thank all our partners for their contributions in delivering the project. We hope that the results of this evaluation will lead to many more people being managed at home rather than hospital”.

Dr Mark Barber, NHS Lanarkshire consultant geriatric medicine and stroke, said, “We are delighted to be collaborating in this project, which will allow us to test modern monitoring technology, which would not otherwise be available to our stroke patients. We will robustly evaluate the project in the hope that in the future the CAM, and other similar technologies, will be available more widely to patients in Scotland.”

Dr Marilyn Lennon, Principal Investigator leading the evaluation, University of Strathclyde stated, "Studying real world implementation of such novel technologies is essential. By systematically capturing and mapping all the factors that influence the adoption and acceptance of new technologies in our existing health systems, we can help to pave the way forward for patients, NHS staff, and companies in making new technology enabled care a reality much faster."

Professor Lis Neubeck, Head of Cardiovascular Health in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University said, “It’s great to see innovation transforming the care of people who have had a stroke. These devices are smaller than traditional monitors, and record for longer periods of time. This will improve detection of AF and change treatment, hopefully preventing further strokes. The smaller size of the devices makes them more comfortable to wear and being able to put them on at home will reduce the burden of repeat hospital visits for people who are recovering from stroke.”

Ends                                                                                                                08/02/2019


Notes to editors:

About DHI

The Digital Health & Care Institute is a national resource, and Scottish Government and SFC funded innovation centre, with a focus on supporting the development of people and their innovative ideas. We help to transform these ideas into real digital health and care solutions. We play a pivotal role in creating collaborative projects (and solutions) to health and care challenges facing Scottish communities. We work with Academia, SMEs, Enterprise organisations, third sector and citizens to create person centred innovative digital solutions.

Its needs-led approach provides a unique one-stop-shop where the Scottish Government’s healthcare priorities can be explored by innovators across different sectors and communities in Scotland.

Hosted by the University of Strathclyde, DHI is funded by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise.

Governed by a non-executive board, DHI works closely with the Scottish Government to deliver its key outcomes for a healthier Scotland.

DHI also benefits from an academic partnership with Glasgow School of Art, established in 2013.

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Grant Reilly, Marketing, Communications & Events Manager,, +44 (0)141 444 7423.

About the evaluation

The evaluation is led by Dr Marilyn Lennon and the Digital Health and Wellness Research Group in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at University of Strathclyde.

For further information about this evaluation project, please contact Dr Marilyn Lennon,;  +44 (0)141 548 3098