Novel digital & decentralised biomarkers in pulmonary hypertension

Dr Joseph Newman | Department of Medicine University of Cambridge, Victor Philip Dahdaleh Heart & Lung Research Institute

A collaborative patient-centred precision health initiative

Impact Summary

This research offers a significant shift in Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) monitoring with non-invasive remote monitoring systems. The high-frequency data collected will provide a detailed understanding of the disease’s natural history and patients’ response to therapies.

Such an approach aims to improve trial efficiency and patient engagement, and also seeks to address research inequality by making participation more accessible across geographic, socioeconomic and disease severity lines. The research, supported by patient engagement from the start, demonstrates the potential of patient-focused design and collaboration across academia, health services, industry, and charities.

The wider implications of this work go beyond PH, as the developed principles and techniques are intended to be disease-agnostic. The goal is to enhance health outcomes across a range of cardiopulmonary diseases, illustrating the potential of precision health in modern medicine.

Underpinning Research

PH is a disease characterised by high pressure in the lungs’ blood vessels, leading to progressive symptoms and early mortality. Traditional hospital-based measures provide only periodic data and can be invasive. This research seeks to improve patient monitoring through decentralised clinical biomarkers and non-invasive remote smart technology.

In collaboration with industry partners and patient organisations, the research involves a mixed-methods study to develop and test novel digital non-invasive biomarkers. These include electronic Patient Reported Outcome Measures (ePROMs), remote exercise capacity tests, and home micro-sample blood testing. The objective is to generate a validated set of remote patient-generated health data via straightforward community-based assessments, initially for clinical trials, and later for broader ‘hospital-at-home’ healthcare applications.

The research also involves proactive monitoring of patients’ symptoms, function, physiology, and biochemistry as remote biomarkers. Tools such as our novel digital 1-Minute Walk Test (d1MWT) and NT-proBNP capillary blood test could serve as early indicators of deterioration, enabling more rapid intervention before the patient is necessarily symptomatic.

In summary, this research serves as an example of precision health, emphasising how innovative, patient-centred design can refine healthcare delivery, enhance patient outcomes, and address existing research participation disparities.