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Heartbeat: the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of cardiology
  1. Catherine M Otto
  1. Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Catherine M Otto, Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA; cmotto{at}

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The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges which exposed inefficiencies, inequities, lack of resiliency and outdated models for the delivery of cardiovascular care around the globe. At the same time, the response to this crisis has allowed rapid transformation of our systems of care, including widespread use of digital interfaces, streamlining of care pathways and improved integration of patient-centric clinical services. In the hope of ensuring that this positive transformation is carried forward the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) has outlined these changes and identified additional areas that require improvement as summarised in a short article in this issue of Heart 1 with the full report available on the BCS website.2 As they conclude: ‘cardiology, like other specialties, needs to assimilate and act on the lessons learnt during the pandemic. This will require a restructuring of the way that we all work and deliver clinical services.’ The insights summarised in the BCS report and the changes implemented by the NHS in the UK can provide a useful frame of reference that other healthcare systems around the world might consider in their long-term approach to improving care of patients with cardiovascular disease (figure 1).

Figure 1

Potential interactions between primary and secondary care. AECG, ambulatory ECG; CP, chest pain; CTCA, CT coronary angiography; EHR, electronic health records; EOL, end of life; EP, electrophysiology; GP, general …

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