Improving heart failure diagnostics is a Welsh team effort

By Helen Adams
Roche Diagnostics, Digipharm & Life Sciences Hub Wales are collaborating on a new project to advance heart failure diagnostics

A new project has been launched to advance heart failure diagnosis in the UK. Roche Diagnostics, Digipharm, Life Sciences Hub Wales and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB) of NHS Wales, have teamed up to better treat heart failure, which kills over 50,000 people in the UK each year.

Roche Diagnostics is the world’s biggest biotech company, headquartered in Indianapolis, USA. 

IT company Digipharm is headquartered in London and was founded in 2017. 

Life Sciences Hub Wales aims to improve the health of the people of Wales and is headquartered in Cardiff, where it was founded in 2014. 

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is headquartered in Pontypridd, Wales and was founded in 2009 to support the local community. 


A more efficient healthcare system

The collaboration will create a way to produce an outcome-based contracting model focused on heart failure diagnostic tests.

Digipharm's blockchain platform will be used to build a fair payment structure, to create:

  • Shorter waiting times
  • Faster diagnostics
  • Sustainable outcomes 
  • An overall more efficient healthcare system 


The procurement team at CTMUHB will develop a care-led purchasing strategy for the NTproBNP diagnostic test, which was developed by Roche and can diagnose heart failure.

Digipharm’s digital contracting platform - built on the blockchain - will manage the project.


A collaboration built on trust and to improve patient health outcomes

“CTMUHB is committed to enabling and embedding Value-Based Healthcare approaches across our healthcare landscape in order to improve the outcome that matter most for our patients, staff and wider population”, said Dee Lowry, Head of Value-Based Health Care at CTMUHB. “We are delighted to be working with our project partners on a collaboration built on trust and a shared vision to identify and reduce unwarranted variation in heart failure diagnosis, to improve patient outcomes, which in this project can also enable us to effectively and efficiently procure based out on outcomes.”

“This is an exciting and innovative collaboration that is the first of its kind globally”, said Ahmed Abdulla, CEO of Digipharm. “Typically, outcome-based reimbursement agreements have been implemented for drugs and medical devices, however the focus of this project is a diagnostic test, which will not only impact clinical outcomes but also provide financial and operational efficiencies that will transform the way resources are allocated and care is provide. Due to these complexities and numerous data points of interest, automation using our system will eliminate the administrative burden of managing and processing this agreement.”

"Roche Diagnostics is committed to working with healthcare professionals and organisations to create efficiencies in patient care”, said Chris Hudson, Director of Access and Innovation for Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland. “A particular focus for us is Value Based Healthcare (VBHC) and Value Based Procurement (VBP) but we also know that one organisation is not going to solve the complex issues around VBHC and VBP in isolation. That is why we are excited to be involved in this collaboration and committed to investing in this project to help bring the benefits of VBHC and VBP to the NHS in Wales."

Management and communications support will be offered by Life Sciences Hub Wales for the duration of the project.

“Life Sciences Hub Wales is delighted to be collaborating with CTMUHB, Digipharm and Roche on such a groundbreaking project”, said Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales. “Value-Based Health Care focuses on patient outcomes and improved efficiencies for our healthcare services, applying the learnings from this project can set the standard for pioneering value-led procurement processes.”



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