The STRAP consortium aims to reduce the burden of heart disease by early detecting heart disease deterioration, benefiting patients, healthcare workers, and society. This initiative responds to acute needs observed in cardiology clinics, combined with the increasing availability of health tracking technologies. The project focuses on developing a new, AI-powered solution using cost-effective technology to maximize impact on healthcare costs.

The Research
STRAP is dedicated to developing a comprehensive data collection platform integrating off-the-shelf and cutting-edge self-tracking technologies. This platform empowers patients to measure vital signs at home, eliminating the need for frequent clinic visits and enabling longitudinal data collection on daily activities and emotions. The platform enhances self-tracking adherence through gamification strategies. The project involves developing and evaluating novel diagnostic and prognostic methods through two trials with target groups where notable improvements are achievable and highly impactful:

  1. Trial for Elderly Heart Patients: reducing re-hospitalization among elderly heart patients to minimize health deterioration and healthcare costs.
  2. Trial at Cardiac Outpatient Clinics: lower costs and enhance the quality of heart disease diagnosis for individuals attending cardiac outpatient clinics.

The foundation of the trials is twofold. Establishing a Robust Dataset: creating an interconnected dataset to evaluate digitalized techniques' performance in relation to health records. This dataset incorporates electrocardiography data, stethoscope audio recordings, wrist-worn device activity levels, electronic nose sensor data, and self-reported information via IoT technologies, including parameters like water consumption, sleep patterns, real-time feelings, physiological responses, and overall patient well-being. Employing this diverse dataset, STRAP develops innovative analysis and early diagnosis methods to advance heart disease detection and monitoring.

Through these efforts, STRAP aims to implement advanced technologies and data-driven approaches to significantly impact heart disease management.

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Contact person:

P. Markopoulos

Principal investigators

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Clinical staff in hospital wards traditionally collect vital signs periodically to assess a patient's cardiorespiratory status, often with intervals of 6 to 10 hours. This method, known as spot-checking, has limitations due to its infrequent nature and dependence on contact sensors, which can be uncomfortable for patients, particularly during sleep. The Focus Recent advancements demonstrate that vital signs like heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature can be monitored remotely using camera-based methods, which are less invasive compared to contact sensors. This innovation could significantly enhance patient comfort by enabling continuous monitoring without the need for frequent interventions by clinical staff. Continuous monitoring also allows for trend analysis of vital signs, offering a comprehensive assessment of a patient's cardiorespiratory condition. Additionally, camera-based methods enable video context analysis, such as detecting patient movements or identifying pain through facial expression analysis. This project explores the use of continuous video monitoring as an unobtrusive method to predict and monitor patient deterioration or adverse events. The Research Initially, the feasibility and reliability of camera-based continuous monitoring will be evaluated using data from consenting patients in the ICU at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven and healthy volunteers. Subsequently, robust technologies will be developed to automatically detect signs of patient deterioration by generating automated early warning scores based on measured vital signs. Throughout the project, feedback from clinical staff and patient experiences will inform the design and implementation of camera-based technologies and early warning systems.
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Individuals with atrial fibrillation are at increased risk of an ischemic stroke. Active detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) and optimal referral and treatment of patients could prevent an estimated 1500 ischemic strokes annually. Effective collaboration between primary and secondary care professionals is essential for achieving this goal of stroke prevention attributed to AF. This is the primary objective of the implementation consortium known as CUSTOM-AF. The CUSTOM-AF was founded in June 2020 and restarted in 2022. CUSTOM-AF implementation consortium aims to share successful practice examples with regional networks and develop guidelines for organizing active detection and integrated care within a network. Additionally, consortium partners seek innovative methods for general practitioners to detect and manage AF without necessitating hospital referrals. With this consortium, the Dutch Heart Foundation, NVVC Connect, Harteraad, and the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance, all work together towards optimal care for patients with AF. The Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) serves as a key advisor to the consortium. The Research The scope of the consortium has been expanded to include two disorders: heart failure and AF. The consortium has undertaken significant initiatives over the past two years (2020-2022) to advance its objectives: Guideline Development: The consortium developed the "Screening and Treatment Optimization for AF" guideline, designed to facilitate early detection of AF within regional healthcare systems. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: A comprehensive analysis conducted to assess various screening scenarios for AF, evaluating the economic feasibility of different approaches. Thematic Collaboration: In early 2022, a thematic collaboration titled "Juiste Hartzorg op de Juiste Plek" was established in partnership with the Heart Foundation and ZonMw. This collaboration secured funding for 22 regions to support transmural collaboration on AF and HF, with a focus on early detection and treatment optimization. Moving forward from September 2022, NVVC Connect will intensify support for the regions by emphasizing continuous improvement through the PDCA cycle, facilitating knowledge sharing, and implementing innovative approaches such as Check@home. These efforts are aimed at strengthening collaboration and improving outcomes in AF and HF care across the participating regions.
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