Telemed5000 – intelligent remote management for cardiac patients

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is funding a project aimed at applying artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in managing cardiac patients remotely. This after a study showed “remote patient management care (RPM)” reduces overall mortality in high-risk patients.

Stethoskop und tablet ; Quelle: Kurtbas
© Kurtbas

Telemed5000’s primary objective is to improve care of patients with chronic heart failure by using a remote patient management system supported by AI. Around 2.5 million people in Germany suffer from chronic heart failure. Figures from 2015 indicated that treating these patients for heart failure was costing nearly EUR 3.5 billion annually, with inpatient hospital stays accounting for 85 percent of this sum.

Another goal when Telemed5000 started in 2019 is to develop a system solution that makes RPM care for large numbers of patients in standard care technically possible. One key feature of the system would be using AI to preprocess vital data received daily in telemedicine centers (TMZ) in Germany.

Telemed5000 came after Berlin’s Charité hospital carried out a five-year study on how TMZ could be deployed to help heart patients. Known as the “Fontane” study, it estimated – based on the technology available at the time – that this would require the establishment of 200 TMZ working 24/7 to implement telemedical co-care for around 200 thousand patients in Germany alone. Using AI is expected to increase care capacity to 5,000 patients per TMZ. It would also reduce the national need for TMZ to around twenty, or one to two per federal state.

A broad range of partners are involved in the project. In addition to the Charité and the BMWK, the medical device company GETEMED, and SYNIOS, which specializes in document and workflow management, are taking part. The research organizations, the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis (IAIS) and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Digital Engineering, are contributing their expertise as well, as is the Austrian Institute of Technology, whose work is supported by the Austrian research promotion agency, FFG. The Technical University (TU) and the German Heart Center – both in Berlin – are also supporting the effort. The consortium reflects the close cooperation between government, medicine, basic and applied research, and private industry that is a hallmark of medical innovation in Germany.

Three clinical studies are being carried out as part of the project. The Telemed5000-Voice and Telemed5000-Covid-19 studies have already started.