Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada - CANet

$42 million for 2014-23
About   |   News   |   Videos
Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada

Western University, London, Ontario

Scientific Director and CEO
Anthony Tang Anthony Tang

Bryce Pickard Bryce Pickard

Board chair
François Labonté François Labonté

Patients play central role in arrhythmia research network

The opportunity

Canadian heart rhythm research has led to innovations that include the external cardiac pacemaker and the implantable heart record. It has also helped identify appropriate treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation, reduce heart failure and death with cardiac resynchronization therapy, and reduce the risk of stroke from atrial fibrillation. However, a growing number of patients are being diagnosed with major arrhythmia problems, notably sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation and syncope. Early detection, prevention and treatment often require expensive medications, medical procedures and highly sophisticated technology.

How CANet is seizing the opportunity

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) is a multidisciplinary, multi-sector network of clinicians, researchers, industry and government partners, health care providers and patients that are identifying research priorities and working collaboratively to put the right solutions into practice.

Driven by the Network vision of a transformed, patient-driven arrhythmia care, CANet embraces patients as partners. Patients are engaged across all network activities from governance to research to disease management. Combining the expertise of both healthcare professionals and patients, CANet has developed a cloud-based, secured, virtual care platform, which is being used in clinical research to show its usability, effectiveness and cost effectiveness in the next few years.

Among the results

  • VIRTUES (Virtual Integrated Reliable Transformative User-Driven E-Health System) is a leading-edge data platform designed by CANet that provides patients a cloud-based electronic health record that is owned by the patient and can be accessed by their healthcare providers. VIRTUES delivers healthcare to patients at home, in their communities and is designed by patients for patients. Combining mobile electrocardiographic monitoring, wearable/implantable technology, and digital smartphones and tablets, VIRTUES will track a patient’s symptoms along with real-time data and medical information into a patient-specific, personalized clinical context for patients and medical professionals. It is constructed with the utmost in privacy and security safeguards.

  • Through the Network’s investments, CANet Investigators have collaborated with Drone Delivery Canada for the implementation of drone delivery of automated external defibrillators (AED’s) in rural areas.

  • CANet investigators have developed the Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS), a new screening tool to help emergency physicians determine if a fainting patient has symptoms of a potentially dangerous underlying condition. The CSRS tool has been implemented in 16 clinical practice sites across 4 provinces and can be accessed on the MDCalc website and app that is currently used in 196 countries with 1 million monthly users.

  • CANet investigators have demonstrated that catheter ablation is a better treatment option for recurrent ventricular tachycardia (VT) than is augmenting therapy to more potent antiarrhythmic drugs. This multi-centre, multi-national study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and currently has over 112,000 hits placing it in the top 5-6% of NEJM articles of all time.

  • CANet investigators have developed a strategy that improves emergency department care of patients with acute AF, while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations. Piloted implementation of these guidelines has reduced hospitalization from 40% to 3.5%. These practice guidelines have been adopted into Canadian ED Best Practice Guidelines.

Connect with CANet


January 31, 2018
Watch Video
March 10, 2017
Watch Video
CANet Promo Video
February 13, 2017
Watch Video
Dr. L. Brent Mitchell- Sudden Cardiac Death
October 31, 2016