Boston Scientific: stroke prevention - Supporting Boston Scientific to raise awareness of life saving technologies

Atrial fibrillation, an abnormality in the rhythm of the heart, affects 4 out of every 100 people aged over 65. Patients with atrial fibrillation are much more likely to suffer a stroke as the irregular beating of the heart can cause a blood clot which may travel to the brain. The condition is usually managed through pharmaceutical therapies.

There are patients, however, for whom pharmaceutical therapies are not appropriate, leaving them at far greater risk of stroke. To support these people Boston Scientific developed the Watchman Device. This is an implantable device that works by preventing blood clots that form in the heart travelling to the brain. Once implanted the Watchman forms a physical barrier that holds the clots in the heart and never needs to be replaced. After several months the device is actually incorporated into the wall of the heart, sealed by the patient’s own tissue.

In the UK the Watchman device was launched as part of an innovative NHS trial in a limited number of centres across the NHS. PB Consulting, working with Boston Scientific, launched a media campaign to help raise awareness of this treatment option for local patients.

PB Consulting worked with clinicians, patients, and hospital communication teams to develop engaging patient case studies and promote them to the local and national media.

What we achieved

PB Consulting were able to gain widespread coverage related to the Watchman device. In some cases, this led to patients approaching their clinicians to learn more about the treatment.

Media Coverage

In the West Midlands the story was featured by the BBC who ran a feature article on the main evening news. This was broadcast on BBC West Midlands which covers a wide geographic area including Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Hereford, Worcester and Shropshire.

In South London the story was covered by the Bexley Times and the News Shopper, which have a combined circulation of 45,000.

In the Yorkshire region, the story received coverage in the Doncaster Star, Doncaster Gazette and South Yorkshire Times, reaching a total of 65,000 readers.

In the North East the story was covered by the Northern Echo, which has almost 80,000 readers. In Leicester the story was covered by the Leicester Mercury, which has a daily readership of over 200,000.