Leader in Vascular Health Launches Digital Platform to Transform Research and Care

Voice.Launch.WakeForest

Back Row L to R:  Tim Robb, Vascular Cures Project Manager, Tim Craven, Wake Forest Senior Biostatistician, Dr. Matthew Corriere, MD, Wake Forest Associate Professor of Surgery, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Front Row L to R: Catherine Bonetti, Vascular Cures Patient Engagement Manager, Wendy Hitchcock, CEO Vascular Cures, Donna Keith, Project Manager, Wake Forest Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Research, Rob Paris, Wake Forest Clinical Research Coordinator

Redwood City, CA, March 31, 2016 — Vascular Cures, the only national non-profit focused on transforming research into vascular health, announced the launch of its latest initiative, Project Voice.  A pilot study at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina is being led by Matthew Corriere, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, to help patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a disease that afflicts more than 10 million Americans.

Project Voice enables unique collaborations across the spectrum of vascular care. It brings the latest in digital health technology to the unique needs of the vascular health community leading to improved patient engagement­­, more powerful research and a communication bridge between patients and doctors. Project Voice provides a mobile app and web portal, interactive resources and multiple fitness trackers to increase patient control, promote shared decision making and improve research results by adding patient-reported outcomes to clinical data sets.

"The lack of patient-reported outcomes data is a critical gap in both the development of new treatments and ongoing care", said Michael Conte MD, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at UCSF and Vascular Cures' Chief Medical Officer. "PAD and its consequences, including disability, amputation and death, have reached a crisis stage, and we urgently need more powerful tools."

The technology for Project Voice is provided by MedHelp/Aptus Health, a global digital heath engagement partner for life sciences companies, payers, employers, and health systems. The MedHelp platform is integrated with over 120 wireless health devices and trackers, and offers health management tools and peer communities.

Dr. Matthew Corriere says "Project Voice is a powerful tool to improve both medical care and research. When patients are actively engaged in managing their health, they are more likely to communicate important symptoms and share their goals for treatment. Patient-reported outcomes are crucial to include in both care decisions and research studies." Dr. Corriere, who was the 2014 recipient of Vascular Cures' Wylie Scholar award, is the national program leader for Project Voice.

Project Voice is more than a digital health tracker. It also offers patients access to an on-line community of PAD sufferers and educational tools such as videos and articles to help them understand their disease.  Project Voice surrounds them with support to become more engaged in their treatments. According to a 2012 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this is important because "when you make it easy for people to capture and share information from their lives, they feel empowered to take a more active role in their health."

Vascular diseases outside the heart have reached epidemic proportions and include stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD), aneurysms, hypertension and atherosclerosis. The effects of aging, diabetes, and obesity are taking their toll on the population. PAD alone affects 200 million people worldwide and increased by 25% in the last decade. Vascular Cures, based in the Redwood City, California, leads the efforts to develop breakthrough innovations in the treatment of these chronic diseases.

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About Vascular Cures

Vascular Cures is the only national non-profit representing the millions of patients with vascular disease. For more than 30 years, it has transformed patient lives through support of innovative research and programs that advance patient-centered healthcare. For more information, visit www.vascularcures.org.

About the Wylie Scholar Award

Vascular Cures' Wylie Scholar Program, launched in 1996, provides early career support to outstanding academic vascular surgeon-scientists. Recipients have become chiefs of their divisions and world-class leaders in the field, obtaining on average a 16:1 return in national funding subsequent to the original grant. The award has fueled studies to develop new drugs, innovative therapies and novel medical devices.  Projects include identifying ways to: grow new blood vessels, which can help soldiers who experienced blast injuries in combat as well as patients with vascular disease; prevent abnormal cell growth following angioplasty and stents; prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT); reduce the problems of wound healing experienced by diabetic patients; and provide technology to better engage patients in shared decision-making with their doctors. Since 2014, the award has been co-sponsored by the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) Foundation.