Innovative virtual cardiac ward roll out imminent!

By Dr. Jonathan Shurlock

A new virtual ward for patients awaiting cardiac surgery is due to begin across London. Co-ordinated by Dr Debashish Das (Consultant Cardiologist at Bart’s heart centre), the London Cardiac Remote Monitoring Programme will go live after successful funding from NHSX.

The virtual ward will be utilised across the eigh tertiary heart centres in London, which include: St Bartholomew’s, Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College, St George’s, Royal Brompton, Harefield, Imperial College, and The Royal Free.

Remote monitoring will be provided by the Ortus-iHealth digital platform which involves collection of patient reported data including physiological observations and symptom burden. This information will be fed into a central dashboard that will be monitored by clinicians who will be able to contact patients directly when required.

The aim of the virtual ward is to reduce risk in patients awaiting cardiac surgery and optimise them pre-procedure. Longer term aims include supporting cardiac pathways more broadly, which can empower patients to engage in their peri-procedural care.

Any remote monitoring system requires careful consideration of the patient centred nature of its format, an issue raised by Stephen Edmondson, clinical director of the NHSE Cardiac Network, who describes the work as an attempt to improve overall patient experience.

More details about this initiative, including a brief interview with Dr Das can be found here: