Smartphone Apps May Help Recover From Heart Attack | Health Info
By Steven Reinberg, Health Day reporter
MONDAY, September 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) – After a heart attack, a smartwatch app can help prevent patients from being hospitalized again, researchers say.
The app helps patients track their medications and make lifestyle changes. It could also cut readmissions in half in the month following discharge, according to a new report.
The American Heart Association says one in six heart attack patients return to hospital within 30 days of discharge. And about 75% of readmissions occur due to preventable medication errors or poor diet adherence and other lifestyle changes, experts note.
“Historically, we too often hand over a pile of papers on very complicated advice to patients and then expect them to make a big difference in their lives,” said researcher Dr Françoise Marvel. She is an Assistant Professor of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
“There had to be a better way to treat a patient,” Marvel said. “We thought, what if we completely revamp the recovery process for those who have a heart attack? “
So the Marvel team developed the app known as Corrie – a play on the word horn, the Latin word for heart. Using a smart watch, the app can track a patient’s heart rate, daily activity, and blood pressure. The app notifies users when they need to take medication and schedule follow-up appointments. It is also a hub for patient education material related to heart healthy lifestyles.
For the study, the researchers gave smart watches and wireless blood pressure monitors to 200 patients.
Investigators found that patients who used the app had a 52% lower risk of returning to hospital within 30 days of discharge for any medical condition compared to the historical group. In addition, those who used the app were more motivated to improve their quality of life. In fact, more than 90% of users say they are ready to manage their health at home.
“We’ve found that if you frequently engage patients about what they need to do to take care of themselves, they’re really motivated to do it,” Marvel said in an academic press release.
SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, press release, September 21, 2021
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