Heart failure

Remote clinical monitoring helps detect & avoid acute exacerbations
Remote clinical monitoring helps detect & avoid acute exacerbations

According to the American Heart Association Report Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2020 Update, over 6.2 million American adults have heart failure, costing the nation more than $30 billion in healthcare services. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of adults with heart failure in the US will rise to over 8 million, costing the US healthcare system over $69 billion. More than 750,000 Canadians currently live with heart failure, with an estimated cost to reach over 2.8 billion by 2030.


Treatment for heart failure is complex. With many new medications and biological products newly available each year, it can be overwhelming for a busy physician and a care team to weigh each option and create a care plan best suited to each patient’s unique needs and lifestyle. This is where a pharmacist’s role is pivotal in treating heart failure patients. The pharmacist’s role in the care of these patients includes introducing medications, reconciliation and education; dose adjustments, and monitoring; developing ways to manage disease; medication adherence optimization and monitoring, and posthospital discharge follow-up, clinic, and home visits. 

Unfortunately, not all pharmacies have sufficient time to provide optimal clinical care. Fortunately, there is technology that can provide pharmacists with the data they need to optimize patient care. To take care a step further, a focus on preventing costly trips to the emergency room for exacerbations is crucial in keep patients safe and reducing costs.


Remote clinical monitoring


Avg med adherence


Pharmacist interventions from biometric data

Heart failure treatment can sometimes change daily, depending on a patient’s condition. A sudden change in weight or blood pressure may require a dose adjustment in a patient’s medication. Our technology enables clinicians, including pharmacists, to remotely monitor a patient’s biometric data, adherence, and patient-reported outcomes, allowing for a quick intervention by a clinician. At Custom Health, our clinicians can monitor this data in real-time to promote the best possible health outcomes for our patients.

In a partnership with the University of British Columbia and TEC4Home, we studied the use of our home medication dispenser, spencer, in patients living with heart failure. With spencer’s capabilities to track adherence, biometric data and patient reported outcomes, the patients were closely monitored for any changes in their health, avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Patient-reported outcomes were acquired by asking questions through spencer about changes in shortness of breath, leg swelling and breathlessness. These patient engagement questions, in addition to adherence data and biometric data (such as weight and blood pressure) were crucial in assessing the patient’s wellbeing.


We place simple to use technology in the home for remote monitoring of biometric data, medication adherence, and personalized health questions - insights that we use to inform timely and appropriate care.

Kristen Antunes, Director of Clinical Outcomes

Patients that participated in the study achieved an overall adherence average of 96%. Based on patient-reported outcomes and biometric data, our pharmacists intervened with 100% of patients (with an average of four interventions per patient), resulting in either a change in medication, or an opportunity to provide counselling on medication changes.

  • 30% of the pharmacist interventions were due to changes or concerns with Patient-Reported Outcomes data
  • 23% pharmacist interventions were due to changes or concerns with Adherence data
  • 47% pharmacist interventions were due to changes or concerns with Connected-devices (biometric) data

It’s clear that technology can aid in streamlining previously time-consuming practices to promote the best possible health outcomes for patients. With the ability to remotely monitor a patient in real time, pharmacists and other clinicians can intervene quickly, preventing emergency room visits while keeping patients healthy and at home. At Custom Health, we are committed to providing remote patient monitoring in real-time, providing real-time results, and changing the landscape of care for our heart-failure patients with our innovative technology.