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Teletitration for heart failure patients


Since January, the St Paul's Hospital Heart Function Clinic has been evaluating titration of heart failure medications using the telephone and/or the Internet-based virtual heart function clinic in comparison to face-to-face visits. To determine the appropriate dosage, new patients require 3 or more titrations of their medication over an 8 week period when they commence heart failure therapy.

Normally, these titrations are performed during a clinic visit, but three quarters of St. Paul’s Hospital patients travel from outside of Vancouver and therefore face the difficulties of getting to the clinic frequently. Travel time, navigation in a busy city and parking expenses all cause stress to patients, especially when they are feeling unwell. For this reason, the Heart Function Clinic is evaluating the safety and cost effectiveness of performing these uptitrations using telehealth.

So far, over 100 patients have been enrolled in the assessment and they hope to have preliminary findings in January of 2018. Stay tuned!



Feel healthy with Dr. Scott Lear: How should I monitor my exercise?


Image credit: Rob Pegoraro CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

After several decades of health research, Dr. Scott Lear, BCATPR Team Leader, is sharing his knowledge in a health blog to reach people beyond the scientific community. In this article, he compares various exercise monitors and the benefits of each. Gadgets such a pedometers, accelerometers and heart rate monitors each have unique measurements and levels of accuracy, and some are better suited for a particular type of exercise than others.


Who are the users of virtual doctor visits in B.C.?


Though telemedicine is intended to improve primary care within remote areas, its convenience makes it popular among urban dwellers of British Columbia, says a recent article published in the B.C. Medical Journal. The report also found that the majority of those using an online platform for doctor visits were females under 50 years of age, with most common medical concerns being anxiety/depression and contraception.


Artificial Intelligence and robotics, the future of healthcare

Image credit: PwC

Surveying 12,000 people from 12 countries, this PwC report examines the public’s willingness to embrace the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence and robotics in health care. It takes an in-depth look at how the technologies are currently transforming care in research, prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and makes predictions for the future.



Virtual reality therapy helps dying patients in Toronto hospital


Using virtual reality (VR), an IT consultant in Toronto is helping dying patients fulfill their last wish. Videos filmed or edited for a 360-degree experience allow patients to travel around the world using a headset, without ever leaving their rooms. The creator, David Parker, and supporters of the program hope to test and increase the uptake of VR therapy for those in care.