Author: Jess Bauldry
The covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of digital solutions in healthcare. One exciting new innovation from Luxembourg is Wavymeet, a platform offering remote rehabilitation for cardiac patients.
“It all started during the pandemic”, Antonio Ken Iannillo, an SnT research scientist and one of the three co-founders of Wavymeet explains. The cybersecurity specialist had been working with then colleague Dr Wazen Shbair on a social tool, featuring video conferencing for the elderly, when he heard of a University of Luxembourg project focused on improving physical therapy for remote patients at the Centre Hospitalier Luxembourg (CHL).
The head of physiotherapy at the CHL, Patrick Feiereisen, explained that the hospital had been forced to close its in-person cardiac rehabilitation programmes because of restrictions designed to curb the spread of the sars cov-2 virus. Dr Feiereisen took the rehab programme online with limited results
“The real problem was that he could not provide the same quality of service to his patients without real-time feedback from them,” Iannillo explained.
Gamechanger for heart surgery patients
The team developed a secure, easy-to-use video communication software paired with a cardio belt for use by the patient, allowing the practitioner to monitor the ECG of patients in real-time during training. “It was very important for us to put security in all of this, because this is sensitive data,” explains Iannillo.
The solution could be a gamechanger for global patients following heart surgery who are expected to undergo three stages of rehabilitation to reduce the risk of recurring heart problems. Transport and other barriers mean that only a quarter of patients globally complete the programme. “Every year more or less 500 million people should follow this programme and only 25% finish it,” says Iannillo.
Wavymeet has already tested its advanced MVP at a sports club and with hospital patients, who were quick to embrace the technology.
Iannillo says: “We had patients testing it who were 75-76 years old, and they had no problem in setting up the chest strap and connecting. That really amazed us because we realise that we can really help people to continue working on their health without compromising their time for commuting.”
Wavymeet is part of the latest Fit4Start accelerator programme cohort and is collaborating with the CHL on a clinical trial with funding from Fondation Coeur – Daniel Wagner. The trial will be an opportunity to further tailor the tool to patient needs. The startup’s next step will be to obtain medical device certification.