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On Friday, August 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time, JMIR will be completing a server migration to improve site stability and user experience. We expect to be back online Friday, August 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Should any problems arise our technical team will be using the weekend to resolve them, and users will be able to access our site by Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 1:00pm Eastern Time.

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Journal Description

JMIR Cardio (inaugural Editor-in-Chief: Nico Bruining) is a sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the top cited journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671). It covers electronic / digital health approaches in cardiology and for cardiovascular health, which includes ehealth and mhealth approaches for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular conditions.

JMIR Cardio is also the official journal of the European Congress on eCardiology and eHealth. Best papers presented at the conference are selected for JMIR Cardio and as official partner organization, JMIR authors receive a discount (Promo Code: JMIRECARDIO17).

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Beryl_snw; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/beryl_snw/8143950250/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Mobile Technology Utilization Among Patients From Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds Attending Cardiac Rehabilitation in Australia: Descriptive,...

    Abstract:

    Background: Barriers to attending cardiac rehabilitation (CR), including cultural and linguistic differences, may be addressed by recent technological developments. However, the feasibility of using these approaches in culturally and linguistically diverse patients is yet to be determined. Objective: This study aims to assess the use of mobile technologies and features, as well as confidence in utilization across patients speaking different languages at home (ie, English, Mandarin Chinese, and a language other than English and Mandarin [other]) and are both eligible and physically suitable for CR. In addition, the study aims to determine the sociodemographic correlates of the mobile technology/feature use, including language spoken at home in the three groups mentioned above. Methods: This is a descriptive, case matched, comparative study. Age and gender-matched patients speaking English, Mandarin and other languages (n=30/group) eligible for CR were surveyed for their mobile technology and mobile feature use. Results: ‘Participants had a mean age of 66.7 years (SD 13, n=90, range 46-95), with 53.3% (48/90) male. The majority (82/90, 91.1%) used at least one technology device, with 87.8% (79/90) using mobile devices, the most common being smartphones (57/90, 63.3%), tablets (28/90, 31.1%), and text/voice-only phones (24/90, 26.7%). More English-speaking participants used computers than Mandarin or “other” language speaking participants (P=.003 and .02) and were more confident in doing so compared to Mandarin-speaking participants (P=.003). More Mandarin-speaking participants used smartphones compared with “other” language speaking participants (P=.03). Most commonly used mobile features were voice calls (77/82, 93.9%), text message (54/82, 65.9%), the internet (39/82, 47.6%), email (36/82, 43.9%), and videoconferencing (Skype or FaceTime [WeChat or QQ] 35/82, 42.7%). Less Mandarin-speaking participants used emails (P=.001) and social media (P=.007) than English-speaking participants. Speaking Mandarin was independently associated with using smartphone, emails, and accessing the web-based medication information (OR 7.238, 95% CI 1.262-41.522; P=.03, OR 0.089, 95% CI 0.016-0.490; P=.006 and OR 0.191, 95% CI 0.037-0.984; P=.05). Conclusions: This study reveals a high usage of mobile technology among CR patients and provides further insights into differences in the technology use across CALD patients in Australia. The findings of this study may inform the design and implementation of future technology-based CR.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Jody Morris; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jodydigger/5761881001; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Exploring Health Information-Seeking Preferences of Older Adults With Hypertension: Quasi-Experimental Design

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients’ engagement in health care decision making is constituted by at least two behaviors: health information seeking and active involvement in medical decisions. Previous research reported that older adults desire a lot of information, but want to participate in decision making to a lesser degree. However, there is only limited evidence on the effect of desire for health information on seniors’ perceived confidence in making an informed choice (ie, decision self-efficacy). Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate the role desire for health information has for older patients. More specifically, it tested whether decision self-efficacy increases as a function of an assisted computer-based information search. Additionally, the study allowed insights into the sources seniors with hypertension prefer to consult. Methods: A sample of 101 senior citizens (aged ≥60 years) with high blood pressure in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland answered a questionnaire before and after an informational intervention was applied. The intervention consisted of offering additional information on hypertension from five different sources and of providing the information the participant desired. Preference for receiving this information was the major independent variable. The main outcome measure was decision self-efficacy (assessed at baseline and posttest). Analyses of covariance were conducted to detect differences between and within who desired additional hypertension-related content (intervention group) and “information avoiders” (control group). Results: Health care professionals firmly remain the preferred and most trusted source of health information for senior patients. The second most consulted source was the internet (intervention group only). However, among the total sample, the internet obtained the lowest credibility score. A significant increase in decision self-efficacy occurred in seniors consulting additional information compared to information avoiders (F1,93=28.25, P<.001). Conclusions: Consulting health information on a computer screen, and assistance by a computer-savvy person, may be a helpful activity to increase perceived confidence in making treatment decisions in seniors with hypertension.

  • Cardiio app. Source: Cardiio / Smartmockups; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e10057/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Mobile Phone Apps to Support Heart Failure Self-Care Management: Integrative Review

    Abstract:

    Background: With an explosive growth in mobile health, an estimated 500 million patients are potentially using mHealth apps for supporting health and self-care of chronic diseases. Therefore, this review focused on mHealth apps for use among patients with heart failure. Objective: The aim of this integrative review was to identify and assess the functionalities of mHealth apps that provided usability and efficacy data and apps that are commercially available without supporting data, all of which are to support heart failure self-care management and thus impact heart failure outcomes. Methods: A search of published, peer-reviewed literature was conducted for studies of technology-based interventions that used mHealth apps specific for heart failure. The initial database search yielded 8597 citations. After filters for English language and heart failure, the final 487 abstracts was reviewed. After removing duplicates, a total of 18 articles that tested usability and efficacy of mobile apps for heart failure self-management were included for review. Google Play and Apple App Store were searched with specified criteria to identify mHealth apps for heart failure. A total of 26 commercially available apps specific for heart failure were identified and rated using the validated Mobile Application Rating Scale. Results: The review included studies with low-quality design and sample sizes ranging from 7 to 165 with a total sample size of 847 participants from all 18 studies. Nine studies assessed usability of the newly developed mobile health system. Six of the studies included are randomized controlled trials, and 4 studies are pilot randomized controlled trials with sample sizes of fewer than 40. There were inconsistencies in the self-care components tested, increasing bias. Thus, risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for risk of selection, performance, detection, attrition, and reporting biases. Most studies included in this review are underpowered and had high risk of bias across all categories. Three studies failed to provide enough information to allow for a complete assessment of bias, and thus had unknown or unclear risk of bias. This review on the commercially available apps demonstrated many incomplete apps, many apps with bugs, and several apps with low quality. Conclusions: The heterogeneity of study design, sample size, intervention components, and outcomes measured precluded the performance of a systematic review or meta-analysis, thus introducing bias of this review. Although the heart failure–related outcomes reported in this review vary, they demonstrated trends toward making an impact and offer a potentially cost-effective solution with 24/7 access to symptom monitoring as a point of care solution, promoting patient engagement in their own home care.

  • Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e11/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    HerzMobil, an Integrated and Collaborative Telemonitoring-Based Disease Management Program for Patients With Heart Failure: A Feasibility Study Paving the...

    Abstract:

    Background: Heart failure is a major health problem associated with frequent hospital admissions. HerzMobil Tirol is a multidisciplinary postdischarge disease management program for heart failure patients to improve quality of life, prevent readmission, and reduce mortality and health care costs. It uses a telemonitoring system that is incorporated into a network of specialized heart failure nurses, physicians, and hospitals. Patients are equipped with a mobile phone, a weighing scale, and a blood pressure and heart rate monitor for daily acquisition and transmission of data on blood pressure, heart rate, weight, well-being, and drug intake. These data are transmitted daily and regularly reviewed by the network team. In addition, patients are scheduled for 3 visits with the network physician and 2 visits with the heart failure nurse within 3 months after hospitalization for acute heart failure. Objective: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of HerzMobil Tirol by analyzing changes in health status as well as patients’ self-care behavior and satisfaction and to derive recommendations for implementing a telemonitoring-based interdisciplinary disease management program for heart failure in everyday clinical practice. Methods: In this prospective, pilot, single-arm study including 35 elderly patients, the feasibility of HerzMobil Tirol was assessed by analyzing changes in health status (via Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, KCCQ), patients’ self-care behavior (via European Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale, revised into a 9-item scale, EHFScB-9), and user satisfaction (via Delone and McLean System Success Model). Results: A total of 43 patients joined the HerzMobil Tirol program, and of these, 35 patients completed it. The mean age of participants was 67 years (range: 43-86 years). Health status (KCCQ, range: 0-100) improved from 46.2 to 69.8 after 3 months. Self-care behavior (EHFScB-9, possible range: 9-22) after 3 months was 13.2. Patient satisfaction in all dimensions was 86% or higher. Lessons learned for the rollout of HerzMobil Tirol comprise a definite time schedule for interventions, solid network structures with clear process definition, a network coordinator, and specially trained heart failure nurses. Conclusions: On the basis of the positive evaluation results, HerzMobil Tirol has been officially introduced in the province of Tyrol in July 2017. It is, therefore, the first regular financed telehealth care program in Austria.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: BootstrapGiver; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/donut-baked-goods-sweet-1801316/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Food Addiction Support: Website Content Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Food addiction has a long history; however, there has been a substantial increase in published literature and public media focus in the past decade. Food addiction has previously demonstrated an overlap with overweight and obesity, a risk for cardiovascular disease. This increased focus has led to the establishment of numerous support options for addictive eating behaviors, yet evidence-based support options are lacking. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the availability and content of support options, accessible online, for food addiction. Methods: A standardized Web search was conducted using 4 search engines to identify current support availability for food addiction. Through use of a comprehensive data extraction sheet, 2 reviewers independently extracted data related to the program or intervention characteristics, and support fidelity including fundamentals, support modality, social support offered, program or intervention origins, member numbers, and program or intervention evaluation. Results: Of the 800 records retrieved, 13 (1.6%, 13/800) websites met the inclusion criteria. All 13 websites reported originating in the United States, and 1 website reported member numbers. The use of credentialed health professionals was reported by only 3 websites, and 5 websites charged a fee-for-service. The use of the 12 steps or traditions was evident in 11 websites, and 9 websites described the use of food plans. In total, 6 websites stated obligatory peer support, and 11 websites featured spirituality as a main theme of delivery. Moreover, 12 websites described phone meetings as the main program delivery modality, with 7 websites stating face-to-face delivery and 4 opting for online meetings. Newsletters (n=5), closed social media groups (n=5), and retreat programs (n=5) were the most popular forms of social support. Conclusions: This is the first review to analyze online support options for food addiction. Very few online support options include health professionals, and a strengthening argument is forming for an increase in support options for food addiction. This review forms part of this argument by showing a lack of evidence-based options. By reviewing current support availability, it can provide a guide toward the future development of evidence-based support for food addiction.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e8/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Novel Intelligent Two-Way Communication System for Remote Heart Failure Medication Uptitration (the CardioCoach Study): Randomized Controlled Feasibility...

    Abstract:

    Background: European Society of Cardiology guidelines for the treatment of heart failure (HF) prescribe uptitration of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and β-blockers to the maximum-tolerated, evidence-based dose. Although HF prognosis can drastically improve when correctly implementing these guidelines, studies have shown that they are insufficiently implemented in clinical practice. Objective: The aim of this study was to verify whether supplementing the usual care with the CardioCoach follow-up tool is feasible and safe, and whether the tool is more efficient in implementing the guideline recommendations for β-blocker and ACE-I. Methods: A total of 25 HF patients were randomly assigned to either the usual care control group (n=10) or CardioCoach intervention group (n=15), and observed for 6 months. The CardioCoach follow-up tool is a two-way communication platform with decision support algorithms for semiautomatic remote medication uptitration. Remote monitoring sensors automatically transmit patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and weight on a daily basis. Results: Patients’ satisfaction and adherence for medication intake (10,018/10,825, 92.55%) and vital sign measurements (4504/4758, 94.66%) were excellent. However, the number of technical issues that arose was large, with 831 phone contacts (median 41, IQR 32-65) in total. The semiautomatic remote uptitration was safe, as there were no adverse events and no false positive uptitration proposals. Although no significant differences were found between both groups, a higher number of patients were on guideline-recommended medication dose in both groups compared with previous reports. Conclusions: The CardioCoach follow-up tool for remote uptitration is feasible and safe and was found to be efficient in facilitating information exchange between care providers, with high patient satisfaction and adherence. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03294811; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03294811 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6xLiWVsgM)

  • How postprocedural telemonitoring can help patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Engin Akyurt; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/surgery-hospital-doctor-operation-3034133/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Remote Monitoring of Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: A Framework for Postprocedural Telemonitoring

    Abstract:

    Background: The postprocedural trajectory of patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) involves in-hospital monitoring of potential cardiac rhythm or conduction disorders and other complications. Recent advances in telemonitoring technologies create opportunities to monitor electrocardiogram (ECG) and vital signs remotely, facilitating redesign of follow-up trajectories. Objective: This study aimed to outline a potential set-up of telemonitoring after TAVR. Methods: A multidisciplinary team systematically framed the envisioned telemonitoring scenario according to the intentions, People, Activities, Context, Technology (iPACT) and Functionality, Interaction, Content, Services (FICS) methods and identified corresponding technical requirements. Results: In this scenario, a wearable sensor system is used to continuously transmit ECG and contextual data to a central monitoring unit, allowing remote follow-up of ECG abnormalities and physical deteriorations. Telemonitoring is suggested as an alternative or supplement to current in-hospital monitoring after TAVR, enabling early hospital dismissal in eligible patients and accessible follow-up prolongation. Together, this approach aims to improve rehabilitation, enhance patient comfort, optimize hospital capacity usage, and reduce overall costs. Required technical components include continuous data acquisition, real-time data transfer, privacy-ensured storage, automatic event detection, and user-friendly interfaces. Conclusions: The suggested telemonitoring set-up involves a new approach to patient follow-up that could bring durable solutions for the growing scarcities in health care and for improving health care quality. To further explore the potential and feasibility of post-TAVR telemonitoring, we recommend evaluation of the overall impact on patient outcomes and of the safety, social, ethical, legal, organizational, and financial factors.

  • Handheld ultrasound. Source: Figure 1 from http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e7; Copyright: the authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Handheld Ultrasound as a Novel Predictive Tool in Atrial Fibrillation: Prediction of Outcomes Following Electrical Cardioversion

    Abstract:

    Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after successful direct current cardioversion (CV) is common, and clinical predictors may be useful. We evaluated the risk of early AF recurrence according to inferior vena cava (IVC) measurements by handheld ultrasound (HHU) at the time of CV. Objective: Assess HHU and objectively obtained measurements acquired at the point of care as potential clinical predictors of future clinical outcomes in patients with AF undergoing CV. Methods: Maximum IVC diameter (IVCd) and collapsibility with inspiration were measured by the Vscan HHU (General Electric Healthcare Division) in 128 patients immediately before and after successful CV for AF. Patients were followed by chart review for recurrence of AF. Results: Mean IVCd was 2.16 cm in AF pre-CV and 2.01 cm in sinus rhythm post-CV (P<.001). AF recurred within 30 days of CV in 34 of 128 patients (26.6%). Among patients with IVCd <2.1 cm pre-CV and decrease in IVCd post-CV, AF recurrence was 12.1%, compared to 31.6% in patients not meeting these parameters (odds ratio [OR] 0.299, P=.04). This association persisted after adjustment for age, ejection fraction <50%, left atrial enlargement, and amiodarone use (adjusted OR 0.185, P=.01). Among patients with IVCd post-CV <1.7 cm, AF recurrence was 13.5%, compared to 31.9% in patients not meeting this parameter (OR 0.185, P=.01). IVC parameters did not predict AF recurrence at 180 or 365 days. Conclusions: The presence of a normal IVCd pre-CV that becomes smaller post-CV and the presence of a small IVCd post-CV were each independently associated with reduced likelihood of early, but not late, AF recurrence. HHU assessment of IVCd at the time of CV may be useful to identify patients at low risk of early recurrence of AF after CV.

  • Examining the validity of the Apple Watch exercise ring. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Grant Abt; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e6/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Measuring Moderate-Intensity Exercise with the Apple Watch: Validation Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Moderate fitness levels and habitual exercise have a protective effect for cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality. The Apple Watch displays exercise completed at an intensity of a brisk walk or above using a green “exercise” ring. However, it is unknown if the exercise ring accurately represents an exercise intensity comparable to that defined as moderate-intensity. In order for health professionals to prescribe exercise intensity with confidence, consumer wearable devices need to be accurate and precise if they are to be used as part of a personalized medicine approach to disease management. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the Apple Watch for measuring moderate-intensity exercise, as defined as 40-59% oxygen consumption reserve (VO2R). Methods: Twenty recreationally active participants completed resting oxygen consumption (VO2rest) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) tests prior to a series of 5-minute bouts of treadmill walking at increasing speed while wearing an Apple Watch on both wrists, and with oxygen consumption measured continuously. Five-minute exercise bouts were added until the Apple Watch advanced the green “exercise” ring by 5 minutes (defined as the treadmill inflection speed). Validity was examined using a one-sample t-test, with interdevice and intradevice reliability reported as the standardized typical error and intraclass correlation. Results: The mean %VO2R at the treadmill inflection speed was 30% (SD 7) for both Apple Watches. There was a large underestimation of moderate-intensity exercise (left hand: mean difference = -10% [95% CI -14 to -7], d=-1.4; right hand: mean difference = -10% [95% CI -13 to -7], d=-1.5) when compared to the criterion of 40% VO2R. Standardized typical errors for %VO2R at the treadmill inflection speed were small to moderate, with intraclass correlations higher within trials compared to between trials. Conclusions: The Apple Watch threshold for moderate-intensity exercise was lower than the criterion, which would lead to an overestimation of moderate-intensity exercise minutes completed throughout the day.

  • Source: Picjumbo; Copyright: Viktor Hanacek; URL: https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-listening-to-streaming-music-on-her-phone/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Smartphone Apps Using Photoplethysmography for Heart Rate Monitoring: Meta-Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Smartphone ownership is rising at a stunning rate. Moreover, smartphones prove to be suitable for use in health care due to their availability, portability, user-friendliness, relatively low price, wireless connectivity, far-reaching computing capabilities, and comprehensive memory. To measure vital signs, smartphones are often connected to a mobile sensor or a medical device. However, by using the white light-emitting diode as light source and the phone camera as photodetector, a smartphone could be used to perform photoplethysmography (PPG), enabling the assessment of vital signs. Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the available evidence on the use of smartphone apps to measure heart rate by performing PPG in comparison with a validated method. Methods: PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge were searched for relevant studies published between January 1, 2009 and December 7, 2016. The reference lists of included studies were hand-searched to find additional eligible studies. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Diagnostic Test Study checklist and some extra items were used for quality assessment. A fixed effects model of the mean difference and a random effects model of Pearson correlation coefficient were applied to pool the outcomes of the studies. Results: In total, 14 studies were included. The pooled result showed no significant difference between heart rate measurements with a smartphone and a validated method (mean difference −0.32; 99% CI −1.24 to 0.60; P=.37). In adults, the Pearson correlation coefficient of the relation between heart rate measurement with a smartphone and a validated method was always ≥.90. In children, the results varied depending on measuring point and heart rate. The pooled result showed a strong correlation that was significant (correlation coefficient .951; 95% CI 0.906-0.975; P<.001). The reported limits of agreement showed good agreement between a smartphone and a validated method. There was a moderately strong significant negative correlation between the year of publication of the included studies and the mean difference (r=−.69; P<.001). Conclusions: Smartphone apps measuring heart rate by performing PPG appear to agree with a validated method in an adult population during resting sinus rhythm. In a pediatric population, the use of these apps is currently not validated.

  • Kardia Mobile device in the palm of a hand. Source: East Carolina University; Copyright: Rhett Butler; URL: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/AFib-Screening.cfm; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Monitoring Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Using Mobile Phone Electrocardiogram: Case Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Preventable poor health outcomes associated with atrial fibrillation continue to make early detection a priority. A one-lead mobile electrocardiogram (mECG) device given to patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) allowed users to receive real-time ECG readings in 30 seconds. Objective: Three cases were selected from an institutional review board-approved clinical trial aimed at assessing mECG device usage and satisfaction, patient engagement, quality of life (QoL), and cardiac anxiety. These three specific cases were selected to examine a variety of possible patient presentations and user experiences. Methods: Three ICD patients with mobile phones who were being seen in an adult device clinic were asked to participate. The participants chosen represented individuals with varying degrees of reported education and patient engagement. Participants were instructed to use the mECG device at least once per day for 30 days. Positive ECGs for atrial fibrillation were evaluated in clinic. At follow-up, information was collected regarding their frequency of use of the mECG device and three psychological outcomes in the domains of patient engagement, QoL, and cardiac anxiety. Results: Each patient used the technology approximately daily or every other day as prescribed. At the 30-day follow-up, usage reports indicated an average of 32 readings per month per participant. At 90-day follow-up, usage reports indicated an average of 34 readings per month per participant. Two of the three participants self-reported a significant improvement in their physical QoL from baseline to completion, while simultaneously self-reporting a significant decrease in their mental QoL. All three participants reported high levels of device acceptance and technology satisfaction. Conclusions: This case study demonstrates that ICD patients with varying degrees of education and patient engagement were relatively active in their use of mECGs. All three participants using the mECG technology reported high technology satisfaction and device acceptance. High sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of mECG technology may allow routine atrial fibrillation screening at lower costs, in addition to improving patient outcomes.

  • User interface of the mock-up design for a cardiovascular disease app (montage). Source: The Authors / Mockdrop.io; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/1/e3/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Enhancing User Experience Through User Study: Design of an mHealth Tool for Self-Management and Care Engagement of Cardiovascular Disease Patients

    Abstract:

    Background: As patient communication, engagement, personal health data tracking, and up-to-date information became more efficient through mobile health (mHealth), cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and other diseases that require behavioral improvements in daily life are now capable of being managed and prevented more effectively. However, to increase patient engagement through mHealth, it is important for the initial design to consider functionality and usability factors and accurately assess user demands during the developmental process so that the app can be used continuously. Objective: The purpose of the study was to provide insightful information for developing mHealth service for patients with CVD based on user research to help enhance communication between patients and doctors. Methods: To drive the mobile functions and services needed to manage diseases in CVD patients, user research was conducted on patients and doctors at a tertiary general university hospital located in the Seoul metropolitan area of South Korea. Interviews and a survey were performed on patients (35 participants) and a focus group interview was conducted with doctors (5 participants). A mock-up mobile app was developed based on the user survey results, and a usability test was then conducted (8 participants) to identify factors that should be considered to improve usability. Results: The majority of patients showed a positive response in terms of their interest or intent to use an app for managing CVD. Functional features, such as communication with doctors, self-risk assessment, exercise, tailored education, blood pressure management, and health status recording had a score of 4.0 or higher on a 5-point Likert scale, showing that these functions were perceived to be useful to patients. The results of the mock-up usability test showed that inputting and visualizing blood pressure and other health conditions was required to be easier. The doctors requested a function that offered a comprehensive view of the patient’s daily health status by linking the mHealth app data with the hospital’s electronic health record system. Conclusions: Insights derived from a user study for developing an mHealth tool for CVD management, such as self-assessment and a communication channel between patients and doctors, may be helpful to improve patient engagement in care.

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  • User-Centred Adaptation of an Existing Heart Failure Telemonitoring Program to Ensure Sustainability and Scalability

    Date Submitted: Jul 2, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Jul 4, 2018 - Aug 29, 2018

    Background: Telemonitoring (TM) interventions for the management of heart failure (HF) has seen limited adoption in Canadian health systems but isolated examples of TM programs do exist. An example of...

    Background: Telemonitoring (TM) interventions for the management of heart failure (HF) has seen limited adoption in Canadian health systems but isolated examples of TM programs do exist. An example of such a program was launched in a specialty HF clinic in Toronto, Canada and a recent implementation evaluation concluded that reducing the cost of delivering the program is necessary to ensure its sustainability and scalability. Objective: The objectives of this study are (1) to understand which components of the TM program could be modified to reduce costs and adapted to other contexts while maintaining program fidelity; and (2) to describe the changes made to the TM program to enable its sustainability within the initial implementation site and scalability to other health organizations. Methods: Semi-structured interviews probed the experiences of patients (n=23) and clinicians (n=8) involved in the TM program to identify opportunities for cost reduction and resource optimization. Ideas for adapting the program were informed by the interview results and prioritized based on: (1) potential impact for sustainability and scalability; (2) feasibility; and (3) perceived risks to negatively impacting the program’s ability to yield desired health outcomes. Results: Five themes representing opportunities for cost reduction were discussed, including: (1) Bring Your Own Device (BYOD); (2) technical support; (3) clinician role; (4) duration of enrollment; and (5) intensity of monitoring. The hardware used for the TM system and the modalities of providing technical support were found to be highly adaptable which supported the decision to implement a BYOD model, whereby patients use their own smartphone, weight scale and blood pressure cuff as well as the development of a website aimed at reducing the burden on a technical support telehealth analyst (THA). In addition, the interviews suggested that, while it is important to have a clinician who is part of a patient’s circle of care monitoring TM alerts, the skill level and experience was moderately adaptable. Thus, a Registered Nurse was determined to be more cost-effective and was hired to replace the existing nurse practitioners in the frontline management of TM alerts as well as taking over the technical support role from a THA. Conclusions: This paper provides a user-centred example of how necessary cost-reduction actions can be taken to ensure the sustainability and scalability of TM programs. In addition, the findings offer insights into what components of a TM program can be safely adapted to ensure its integration in various clinical settings.

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