CANet Patient Partner Ann Marie

Meet Ann-Marie

“I wish I didn’t have AFib… it would be nice. And, at the same time, I recognize that some of the positive decisions I’ve made in my life have been influenced by the insight that comes when you have a heart condition.” Ann-Marie began experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib) symptoms at a young age. “I was 42 years old, and I happened to be at my family doctor’s office for an appointment for one of my daughters who was sick. I had previously talked to the doctor about something funny with my heart rhythm, but it was episodic. Because it wasn’t happening while I was there, she didn’t want to send me for an ECG. While at my daughter’s appointment, I said, “Remember when I talked to you about this heart rhythm thing? It’s off now.” She sent me downstairs in the building for an ECG right away, and sure enough, I was in AFib. That’s where it began, and it was real. At first, I was in shock. I was 42, and what do you mean I have a heart condition? It just seemed like I was way too young and physically active. I had two busy kids, a great...
CANet Patient Partner Kevin Barry

Meet Kevin

“I became fascinated by the heart when I was 13 years old as a volunteer with the Red Cross. When I began to look for paid employment, nursing was big, so I went that route… and that’s where it led me for 30 years until my heart attack.” From cardiac nurse to cardiac patient, Kevin could predict that he, like his patients, would forge his path through cardiac care. “My journey started in March 2007 with a heart attack at age 47. I was fairly young, but it wasn’t unexpected because of my family’s genetics. I look like the men on my mum’s side of the family. I’ve got an uncle and a cousin, who, when we were together, people used to think we were father and sons. My mum had three brothers, two of which died of cardiac-related illnesses. One died of a massive heart attack at 52, and the second died of cardiac disease after a long battle that included several stents and a couple of bypass surgeries. The same weekend I had my heart attack; my father was dying in England from his battle with cardiac disease. He had his first heart attack at age 52 and...
CANet Dr Jason Andrade - Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

CANet funding lays foundation for pioneering treatment for atrial fibrillation

Critical research funded by CANet is the foundational basis of a breakthrough treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF). CANet investigator Dr. Jason Andrade, including researchers across the country, found that freezing and removing faulty heart tissues, a procedure known as cryoablation, is more likely to prevent long-term progression AF compared to taking anti-arrhythmic drugs (AADs). This breakthrough research builds on an initial CANet-funded project which showed that cryoablation was more effective than AADs at reducing the short-term recurrence of AF. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting Canadians. Faulty heart tissues cause rapid, irregular heartbeats and increase the risk for stroke, hospitalizations, and death. In fact, a significant portion of AF-related healthcare costs are due to hospitalization and acute care. Current AF-associated costs are estimated at two and a half percent of Canada’s annual healthcare expenditures. These costs are expected to rise to four percent within the next two decades. Both studies will help reduce the burden of AF in Canada. They fulfil a critical need for minimally invasive cardiac procedures that improve patient outcomes without increasing healthcare costs and treatment time. Dr. Andrade’s pioneering treatment – catheter ablation with a cryothermy balloon or cryoablation – freezes faulty heart tissues...
CANet Name Change — Cardiovascular Network of Canada

It’s official; we’ve changed names!

Today, we proudly announce our organization’s official name change to the Cardiovascular Network of Canada (CANet). This change reflects our accomplishments, impacts, and progression as we create, test, evaluate, and implement innovative solutions for better cardiac care and managing complex health conditions for all Canadians. Our goal is to empower Canadians to utilize innovative digital health transformative tools for co-management of their health at home in their communities while maintaining patient-provider relationships and honouring the Canadian culture of our publicly funded healthcare system. Previously recognized as the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada, since 2014, we have focused on patient-led cardiac arrhythmia research discovery, innovation, and engagement. Our Network brought together Canada’s globally recognized experts, harnessing the talents of the best researchers, engineers, and social scientists, in a wide array of related disciplines to share ideas and advance the field of arrhythmia research and treatment. We recognize patients with arrhythmia also have related cardiovascular conditions. To make a real impact on improving the lives of our patients, we’ve broadened the scope of the Network to focus on cardiovascular health. Federally funded, we partnered with academic institutions, globally recognized industries, not-for-profit organizations, and federal and provincial government agencies to improve the lives...
CANet CHAT Discovery Winner Jobanjit Phulka

And the winner is… CANet Expert Knowledge Exchange — Building for the Future

Congratulations, Jobanjit Phulka, for winning our 2022 CHAT Discovery competition! Finalists had the opportunity to win up to $25,000! A huge congratulations to all finalists for their incredible work. click here to see all competition winners   Event Recap Expert Knowledge Exchange — Building for the Future Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting another successful event at our 2-day Expert Knowledge Exchange titled Building for the Future at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre hotel in Toronto, Ontario! First, we would like to thank our Patient Partners, Trainees, Allied Health Professionals, Network Investigators and Speakers for joining us from across Canada. We would also like to thank our speakers for exchanging their expert knowledge with our fantastic audience who travelled across Canada to participate in this event. click here to continue reading

National study suggests it’s time to rethink how we treat atrial fibrillation

Montreal, Nov. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Doctors researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) presented new data today at the American Heart Association Late-Breaking Scientific Sessions. Simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the data shows that catheter ablation may be better than antiarrhythmic drugs at halting disease progression. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting approximately 1 to 2% of the overall population. Treatment guidelines recommend a trial of drug therapy to maintain a normal atrial heart rhythm before catheter ablation is considered. However, these medications have only limited ability to maintain a normal heart rhythm and have substantial side effects. Catheter ablation is considered superior to antiarrhythmic drugs in maintaining normal (sinus) rhythm and improving quality of life in patients in whom drugs have already failed but it was previously unknown whether earlier ablation could prevent the progression of the disease. “By treating patients with catheter ablation right from the start, we see fewer people advancing to more persistent, life-threatening forms of atrial fibrillation,” said Dr Jason Andrade, electrophysiologist affiliated with the MHI, assistant Professor of Medicine, Université de Montréal and lead author of the EARLY-AF study. “This data provides clear evidence...

A digital health solution every heart patient needs

CANet is making a difference, helping to save cardiac patients’ lives while encouraging more organizations to join the movement of patient-driven healthcare. With support across Canada, CANet has developed the VIRTUES digital health platform. A platform designed to provide patients with the most relevant medical information, facilitate access to effective care options and connect them with physicians who understand their medical and personal care requirements. “Our VIRTUES digital health platform utilizes state-of-the-art biosensor-driven diagnostics and health informatics—augmented with advanced analytics and wireless connectivity—to provide cardiac patients access to on-demand virtual care,” says Dr. Anthony Tang, CEO and scientific director, CANet. VIRTUES is a digital health companion for cardiac patients, always there to answer their questions, support them, and offer the best treatment options and access to relevant caregivers. The platform’s database consists of comprehensive health data, input by patients from multiple sources; analyzed and interpreted for patients and their caregivers. Patients can access the platform from the comfort of their homes for guideline-recommended treatment options and personalized support resources at any time. Healthcare providers of choice can also access patients’ information, no matter their location. VIRTUES can integrate with any device, including those implanted in the heart, to constantly monitor...
Diane Strachan — CANet Patient Partner

Meet Diane

A few days before CANet spoke to Diane Strachan, she had just finished a 3600-kilometre trip across Ontario on her motorbike. This would have been an insurmountable task a few years ago for her. "When I was first diagnosed with arrhythmia, I thought I would have to sell my bike," Diane - an avid biker - recalls. Between medication, fear, and not knowing what to do or expect to lead a normal life?
CANet — Healthcare Tech Outlook

Multidisciplinary Healthcare Network for Enhanced Cardiac Treatment

The concept of patient-centred care still seems to be a pipe dream for many patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that the focus of healthcare often, though unintentional, drifts toward the disease rather than the patient. Despite the many medical innovations that have broadened the value-based care options for almost every disease, patients still have trouble accessing relevant care. Whether it is due to scarcity of medical information, distance from advanced healthcare centers, or high care costs, patients often do not get the right care to effectively treat their diseases. Bridging the gap between patients and advanced care options requires patient-aligned healthcare networks that can seamlessly connect patients with timely and cost-effective medical care. Fulfilling this role for cardiac patients across Canada is the patient-driven, non-profit association, CANet. The company brings together healthcare professionals, patients, academia, government, and not-for-profit organizations to undertake ground-breaking cardiac research and develop powerful digital health tools to improve the care journey of patients. By putting the right tools in the hands of patients at the right time, CANet enables them to manage their complex health conditions. Federally funded in part by Canada’s flagship science and technology program, Networks of Centres of Excellence, CANet...
CANet Partnership Pewaseskan

Pewaseskwan at USask to work with The Key First Nation and Yorkton Tribal Council on researching heart disease and Kennedy’s Disease

ST. PHILIPS, SASK. – Pewaseskwan Indigenous Wellness Research Group (pewaseskwan) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has partnered with The Key First Nation and the Yorkton Tribal Council to support research on heart disease and spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy’s Disease. Dr. Alexandra King (MD), of Nipissing First Nation and co-lead of pewaseskwan, said Indigenous people have higher rates of heart disease and Kennedy’s Disease, and to address this, there is a need for culturally responsive health research, services and programming that prioritize Indigenous knowledge systems, create ethical space between Indigenous and Western systems, and ensure culturally safe and resonant Western approaches. To help accomplish this, pewaseskwan is prioritizing Indigenous voices in the research and the Yorkton Tribal Council and The Key First Nation have been instrumental in providing support. “We are excited to partner with The Key First Nation and the Yorkton Tribal Council as we collaborate to ensure research regarding First Nations communities is community-led and culturally safe. Heart disease and Kennedy’s Disease have much higher-than-average rates in our communities, and we want to ensure our people play a strong role in the research to reduce the burden of these diseases,” said Dr. King. Pewaseskwan,...
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