A UK charity for heart failure patients has developed a website which uses matching technology often used for dating sites to pair patients with appropriate clinical trials.
The Pumping Marvellous Foundation has launched the website, called cardiotrials.org, to mark World Heart Day in an effort to change how trials are recruited for and increase access to care.
The charity says it hopes the system can help take the pressure off the NHS by no longer relying on healthcare staff to identify potential patients suitable for trials.
The new website will allow patients to see what trials are currently running as well as match them to trials that suit their needs and requirements.
Heart failure expert Professor Mark Petrie, from Glasgow University, said the new system was a “huge step forward”.
He added: “That patients can now volunteer to join heart failure trials is fantastic. Specialist heart failure teams can now work with patients to find new treatments for heart failure.
“Heart failure is a condition that can reduce a patient’s quality of life and lifespan but with careful and thorough treatment patients can have good outcomes.
“Patients, doctors and nurses working together will further expand our options for people with heart failure.”
According to the charity, nearly one million people in the UK are affected by heart failure, with more than 80% only diagnosed once in hospital.
It has also warned that there has been a rise in people suffering from heart failure due to the coronavirus, adding that patients living with the illness are also at increased risk if they do catch Covid-19.
Nick Hartshorne-Evans, founder and chief executive of Pumping Marvellous, said: “After being diagnosed with heart failure 10 years ago I became acutely aware of how little support there is for those affected.
“I set up the Pumping Marvellous Foundation to help identify problems in the current system and to work with all stakeholders to overcome them.
“The charity also provides a space where people that are diagnosed can reach out for personal support and advice from other patients as well as distributing around 100,000 pieces of patient information through NHS heart failure teams.”
Pumping Marvellous said healthcare professionals will also be able to access the site and see what is available for patients in their area.