Rehabilitation Programs For Heart Attack Patients To Recovery

In this study the following a heart attack or other cardiac event, it’s important for patients to exercise and eat healthier. But lack of motivation and follow through, among other factors, often lead to further health events. A virtual cardiac rehabilitation program, which includes the use of wearable smart devices and healthy lifestyle coaching, reduced hospital readmissions following cardiac events to less than 2%; so according to a study published Wednesday in NEJM Catalyst. That’s compared to a rate of up to 15% for similar programs.

The National Institutes of Health recommends rehabilitation programs; hence for heart attack patients as a key component to recovery, with the challenge coming from getting patients to complete the programs. “The high-tech, high touch approach combines the ease of mobile phone apps and information tracking with a tailored care plan and an assign care manager to monitor progress; also help patients stay on track to completion of the eight-week program,” Tad Funahashi, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente, told UPI.

The rehab program, designed by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, enroll more than 2,300 patients to test its efficacy. Over the course of eight weeks, patients wore a smartwatch that sends reminders of when to exercise; shows heart rate during exercise and gathers data on activity. The watch then sends the information to doctors; so case managers and physical therapists who advise patients on how to move forward with their rehabilitation.

Information to doctors

When patients complete the program, they can opt-in for an additional eight to 12 weeks of wellness coaching to help with lifestyle changes. Since 2018, about 80% of patients complete the program; far higher than the 50% national average, the researchers say. By the end of this year; Kaiser researchers said they expect to treat more than 5,000 patients.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; so killing roughly 630,000 people each year; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Finding patient-centric ways to deliver health care through human center design and improving ease, convenience and patient engagement can dramatically improve the effectiveness of medical care and patient satisfaction,” Funahashi said.