The Cardiovascular Network of Canada improves its digital health platform

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Dr. Kenneth Gin, Professor of Medicine and Head of Cardiology Division at Vancouver General Hospital, recounts a striking incident. He shares that during a conference talk, a General Physician (GP) presented a stack of papers measuring 18 inches, representing the papers from just the past two years that he needed to read to stay updated as a GP.

The rapid expansion of medical information surpasses doctors’ capacity to keep pace with it. Additionally, patients living longer is positive news, but it also poses challenges as they accumulate multiple chronic medical conditions that can interact with each other, as well as with their respective treatments.

Dr. Pavel Antiperovitch, Medical Development Lead for VIRTUES and an early career cardiologist at the London Health Science Centre, acknowledges the challenges of managing highly complex medical cases that demand advanced knowledge, which is difficult to stay abreast of.

In response to these specific challenges, the Cardiovascular Network of Canada (CANet) has enhanced its well-established digital health platform, VIRTUES, to provide assistance.

CANet’s Scientific Director and CEO, Dr. Anthony Tang, explains that VIRTUES has been upgraded with recent enhancements to offer patients the most pertinent medical information, streamline access to effective care options, and connect them with clinicians who comprehend their unique medical and personal care needs.

Within VIRTUES, patients initiate their journey by completing a comprehensive medical profile specific to their condition. They can conveniently access, review, and share this vital information whenever necessary.

Adhering to all Canadian healthcare privacy laws, including the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), VIRTUES is independent of hospitals, businesses, insurance companies, or physicians.

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It ensures that patients retain control over the platform and their personal health information.

At the core of VIRTUES is a foundation built on customized proprietary algorithms developed by CANet’s team, aligning with Canadian clinical practice guidelines.

In contrast to generic guideline recommendations available through various online tools and apps, VIRTUES employs algorithms that assess a patient’s medical history, laboratory results, and medications.

By activating relevant Care-Sets, these guidelines-driven and accurate algorithms provide personalized treatment recommendations tailored to the patient’s specific condition.

CANet has established a robust partnership with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and collaborates extensively with CCS members who are actively involved in the development of cardiac care guidelines.

Dr. Tang acknowledges the substantial effort and high quality of the guidelines, stating, “These guidelines require significant work and are exceptionally well-crafted.”

However, staying updated with these guidelines and ensuring their consistent implementation has become increasingly complex due to the continuous expansion of medical knowledge.

The latest version of VIRTUES enables the individualized implementation of guideline recommendations tailored to each patient’s unique needs. This ensures that clinicians and patients have personalized recommendations readily available to them.

Within the VIRTUES platform, patients can access their recommendations and share them with their preferred healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will receive a comprehensive report containing recommended treatment options, along with relevant information and references supporting those recommendations.

This collaborative approach allows patients and healthcare providers to make informed decisions together regarding the most suitable treatment option.

VIRTUES also offers patients educational materials, medication infographics, and informative videos to assist them in managing their condition effectively.

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