Hamilton researchers test wireless technology to improve post-surgery care for seniors

SMArTVIEW is an excellent example of real-world implementation and collaboration between researchers, clinicians, patients, ICT, biomedical technology, and industry.


Researchers from Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), McMaster University, and Mohawk College are joining forces with colleagues in Toronto and the U.K. to test a remote monitoring and care system called SMArTVIEW. With multiple players across multiple disciplines, SMArTVIEW combines expertise in digital health care and the growing field of health-related information and communications technology (ICT).

The problem:

Each year thousands of seniors in Canada and the United Kingdom have open-heart and vascular surgeries. These surgeries are meant to save lives and improve symptoms, yet many patients develop chronic pain and complications such as unstable blood pressure, infection, and blood clots which, if not caught, can lead to serious events such as heart attack and strokes. Studies show up to 40 percent of patients experience chronic postoperative pain at three months following surgery, and up to one in five are readmitted to a hospital. These numbers suggest that more should be done to catch early signs of deterioration after surgery and to intervene early.

Research Goals and Objectives:

This study will provide important information about whether the SMArTVIEW system can help prevent chronic pain and complications for seniors recovering at home after cardiac and vascular surgery.

Specifically, whether it can help seniors to keep their pain under control after surgery; whether it can help prevent major complications; and whether it can help to prevent people from going to the emergency room or being readmitted to a hospital.

Research Method:

The SMArTVIEW system is designed to connect specially-trained nurses to patients using tablets and other wireless devices so that vital signs can be monitored in hospital and at home automatically with wireless technology. In addition to monitoring, the system is also designed to teach seniors how to manage their pain and their overall recovery.

The randomized trial will give 600 people equal chance of being enrolled in SMArTVIEW or regular health care following their surgery and comparing what happens between the two groups.

Value / Study Impact:

The SMArTVIEW system has the potential to improve patient care through close monitoring and by empowering patients to participate in their care from the comfort of their home, and by delivering better outcome and improved patient experience. For the healthcare system, the study has the potential to reduce costs through greater efficiencies, better coordination across different levels of care and, most significantly, by reducing the number of visits to emergency rooms as well as hospital readmissions.

mcGillion M. 1

Michael McGillion, Principal Investigator, SMArTVIEW

Impact on Hamilton:

As the primary study site, HHS has a key role in implementing the SMArTVIEW system. “SMArTVIEW represents the interprofessional collaboration and innovation at the heart of the HHS Community.  Our aim is to build a system that provides the best care for all — where and when it is needed,” says Michael McGillion, lead PI. “With SMArTVIEW, we aim to achieve this by using technology to improve timely information access for patients and healthcare providers, and by developing strong networks and partnership across our local community and the healthcare system.”

SMArTVIEW is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research eHealth Innovation Partnerships program. The study will serve to help inform eHealth innovation policy in Ontario with the involvement of key leaders and decision-makers including Denise Cole, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Workforce Planning and Regulatory Affairs.

With the potential for far-reaching impact on healthcare policy worldwide, the SMArTVIEW system is poised to position Hamilton as a leader in eHealth Innovation.

“Looking ahead, through SMArTVIEW, we have the opportunity to take the lead in reducing the global risk of serious complications following cardiac and vascular surgery by making continuous patient monitoring and virtual support, from hospital to home, a reality.”


Study name:


TecHnology Enabled remote monitoring and Self-MAnagemenTVIsion for patient EmpoWerment.

Study start / end dates:

Dec 2016 / Nov 2020

Lead PIs:

Dr. Michael McGillion, Associate Professor, McMaster University School of Nursing

Dr. P.J. Devereaux, Head of Cardiology and the Perioperative Cardiovascular Clinical Program at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre

Dr. Andre Lamy, Cardiac Surgeon, Hamilton Health Sciences

Dr. Ted Scott, Chief Innovation Officer, Hamilton Health Sciences


Fall 2015:

$12.3 million — CIHR funded $750,000 through its eHealth Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP), with an additional $11.6 million of in-kind support coming from industry and other partners

Spring 2016:

$289,000 Awarded by the HHS RFA Research Strategic Initiative Program

HHS Team Leads:

Kirsten Krull, Registered Nurse and Vice President, Inter-Professional Practice and Chief Nursing Executive, Deb Bedini, Program Director, Cardiac and Vascular; Adam Isaacs, Clinical Manager, Cardiac Surgery; Julie Hoyle, Clinical Manager, Vascular Surgery; Dr. Frank Naus, Vice President, Research; Dr. Sandra Carroll, Director of Clinical Health Professional Research; Rob MacLellan, PMP, Project Manager ICT Initiatives.

Partner Institutions and Community Organizations:

Mohawk College, the University of Toronto, York University, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Coventry University in the U.K.; Telehealth Ontario; Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant Community Care Access Centre; Heart and Stroke Foundation; Canadian Cardiovascular Society; Canadian Pain Coalition

Industry partners:

Philips, QoC Health, ThoughtWire, XAHIVE and mPath


SMArTVIEW Abstract

More information / Contact:

SMArTVIEW Project Office:

for full protocol, please visit: