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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 2018: 4.945). 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:

  • Atrial fibrillation content on the American Heart Association's Facebook page. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Duane Dale; URL: https://cardio.jmir.org/2019/2/e15320; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Characteristics Associated With Facebook Use and Interest in Digital Disease Support Among Older Adults With Atrial Fibrillation: Cross-Sectional Analysis of...

    Abstract:

    Background: Online support groups for atrial fibrillation (AF) and apps to detect and manage AF exist, but the scientific literature does not describe which patients are interested in digital disease support. Objective: The objective of this study was to describe characteristics associated with Facebook use and interest in digital disease support among older patients with AF who used the internet. Methods: We used baseline data from the Systematic Assessment of Geriatric Elements in Atrial Fibrillation (SAGE-AF), a prospective cohort of older adults (≥65 years) with AF at high stroke risk. Participants self-reported demographics, clinical characteristics, and Facebook and technology use. Online patients (internet use in the past 4 weeks) were asked whether they would be interested in participating in an online support AF community. Mobile users (owns smartphone and/or tablet) were asked about interest in communicating with their health care team about their AF-related health using a secure app. Logistic regression models identified crude and multivariable predictors of Facebook use and interest in digital disease support. Results: Online patients (N=816) were aged 74.2 (SD 6.6) years, 47.8% (390/816) were female, and 91.1% (743/816) were non-Hispanic white. Roughly half (52.5%; 428/816) used Facebook. Facebook use was more common among women (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.21, 95% CI 1.66-2.95) and patients with mild to severe depressive symptoms (aOR 1.50, 95% CI 1.08-2.10) and less common among patients aged ≥85 years (aOR 0.27, 95% CI 0.15-0.48). Forty percent (40.4%; 330/816) reported interest in an online AF patient community. Interest in an online AF patient community was more common among online patients with some college/trade school or Bachelors/graduate school (aOR 1.70, 95% CI 1.10-2.61 and aOR 1.82, 95% CI 1.13-2.92, respectively), obesity (aOR 1.65, 95% CI 1.08-2.52), online health information seeking at most weekly or multiple times per week (aOR 1.84, 95% CI 1.32-2.56 and aOR 2.78, 95% CI 1.86-4.16, respectively), and daily Facebook use (aOR 1.76, 95% CI 1.26-2.46). Among mobile users, 51.8% (324/626) reported interest in communicating with their health care team via a mobile app. Interest in app-mediated communication was less likely among women (aOR 0.48, 95% CI 0.34-0.68) and more common among online patients who had completed trade school/some college versus high school/General Educational Development (aOR 1.95, 95% CI 1.17-3.22), sought online health information at most weekly or multiple times per week (aOR 1.86, 95% CI 1.27-2.74 and aOR 2.24, 95% CI 1.39-3.62, respectively), and had health-related apps (aOR 3.92, 95% CI 2.62-5.86). Conclusions: Among older adults with AF who use the internet, technology use and demographics are associated with interest in digital disease support. Clinics and health care providers may wish to encourage patients to join an existing online support community for AF and explore opportunities for app-mediated patient-provider communication.

  • Source: Max Pixel; Copyright: Max Pixel; URL: https://www.maxpixel.net/Smart-Phone-Gadget-Iphone-Device-Holding-Phone-916392; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Assessment of Heart Failure Patients’ Interest in Mobile Health Apps for Self-Care: Survey Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Heart failure (HF) is a serious public health concern that afflicts millions of individuals in the United States. Development of behaviors that promote HF self-care may be imperative to reduce complications and avoid hospital readmissions. Mobile health solutions, such as activity trackers and smartphone apps, could potentially help to promote self-care through remote tracking and issuing reminders. Objective: The objective of this study was to ascertain HF patients’ interest in a smartphone app to assist them in managing their treatment and symptoms and to determine factors that influence their interest in such an app. Methods: In the clinic waiting room on the day of their outpatient clinic appointments, 50 HF patients participated in a self-administered survey. The survey comprised 139 questions from previously published, institutional review board–approved questionnaires. The survey measured patients’ interest in and experience using technology as well as their function, HF symptoms, and HF self-care behaviors. The Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) was among the 11 questionnaires and was used to measure the HF patients’ health-related quality of life through patient-reported outcomes. Results: Participants were aged 64.5 years on average, 32% (16/50) of the participants were women, and 91% (41/45) of the participants were determined to be New York Heart Association Class II or higher. More than 60% (30/50) of the survey participants expressed interest in several potential features of a smartphone app designed for HF patients. Participant age correlated negatively with interest in tracking, tips, and reminders in multivariate regression analysis (P<.05). In contrast, MLHFQ scores (worse health status) produced positive correlations with these interests (P<.05). Conclusions: The majority of HF patients showed interest in activity tracking, HF symptom management tips, and reminder features of a smartphone app. Desirable features and an understanding of factors that influence patient interest in a smartphone app for HF self-care may allow researchers to address common concerns and to develop apps that demonstrate the potential benefits of mobile technology.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Kim Keegan; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68968333@N06/26470152635; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Use of Free-Living Step Count Monitoring for Heart Failure Functional Classification: Validation Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification system has poor inter-rater reproducibility. A previously published pilot study showed a statistically significant difference between the daily step counts of heart failure (with reduced ejection fraction) patients classified as NYHA functional class II and III as measured by wrist-worn activity monitors. However, the study’s small sample size severely limits scientific confidence in the generalizability of this finding to a larger heart failure (HF) population. Objective: This study aimed to validate the pilot study on a larger sample of patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and attempt to characterize the step count distribution to gain insight into a more objective method of assessing NYHA functional class. Methods: We repeated the analysis performed during the pilot study on an independently recorded dataset comprising a total of 50 patients with HFrEF (35 NYHA II and 15 NYHA III) patients. Participants were monitored for step count with a Fitbit Flex for a period of 2 weeks in a free-living environment. Results: Comparing group medians, patients exhibiting NYHA class III symptoms had significantly lower recorded 2-week mean daily total step count (3541 vs 5729 [steps], P=.04), lower 2-week maximum daily total step count (10,792 vs 5904 [steps], P=.03), lower 2-week recorded mean daily mean step count (4.0 vs 2.5 [steps/minute], P=.04,), and lower 2-week mean and 2-week maximum daily per minute step count maximums (88.1 vs 96.1 and 111.0 vs 123.0 [steps/minute]; P=.02 and .004, respectively). Conclusions: Patients with NYHA II and III symptoms differed significantly by various aggregate measures of free-living step count including the (1) mean and (2) maximum daily total step count as well as by the (3) mean of daily mean step count and by the (4) mean and (5) maximum of the daily per minute step count maximum. These findings affirm that the degree of exercise intolerance of NYHA II and III patients as a group is quantifiable in a replicable manner. This is a novel and promising finding that suggests the existence of a possible, completely objective measure of assessing HF functional class, something which would be a great boon in the continuing quest to improve patient outcomes for this burdensome and costly disease.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2019/1/e13850/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Accuracy and Usability of a Novel Algorithm for Detection of Irregular Pulse Using a Smartwatch Among Older Adults: Observational Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is often paroxysmal and minimally symptomatic, hindering its diagnosis. Smartwatches may enhance AF care by facilitating long-term, noninvasive monitoring. Objective: This study aimed to examine the accuracy and usability of arrhythmia discrimination using a smartwatch. Methods: A total of 40 adults presenting to a cardiology clinic wore a smartwatch and Holter monitor and performed scripted movements to simulate activities of daily living (ADLs). Participants’ clinical and sociodemographic characteristics were abstracted from medical records. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing different domains of the device’s usability. Pulse recordings were analyzed blindly using a real-time realizable algorithm and compared with gold-standard Holter monitoring. Results: The average age of participants was 71 (SD 8) years; most participants had AF risk factors and 23% (9/39) were in AF. About half of the participants owned smartphones, but none owned smartwatches. Participants wore the smartwatch for 42 (SD 14) min while generating motion noise to simulate ADLs. The algorithm determined 53 of the 314 30-second noise-free pulse segments as consistent with AF. Compared with the gold standard, the algorithm demonstrated excellent sensitivity (98.2%), specificity (98.1%), and accuracy (98.1%) for identifying irregular pulse. Two-thirds of participants considered the smartwatch highly usable. Younger age and prior cardioversion were associated with greater overall comfort and comfort with data privacy with using a smartwatch for rhythm monitoring, respectively. Conclusions: A real-time realizable algorithm analyzing smartwatch pulse recordings demonstrated high accuracy for identifying pulse irregularities among older participants. Despite advanced age, lack of smartwatch familiarity, and high burden of comorbidities, participants found the smartwatch to be highly acceptable.

  • eHealth devices for self blood pressure measurement. Source: Pixabay; Copyright: rawpixel; URL: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-person-desktop-work-aerial-3187087/; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Design of a Care Pathway for Preventive Blood Pressure Monitoring: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Electronic health (eHealth) services could provide a solution for monitoring the blood pressure of at-risk patients while also decreasing expensive doctor visits. However, a major barrier to their implementation is the lack of integration into organizations. Objective: Our aim was to design a Care Pathway for monitoring the blood pressure of at-risk patients, in order to increase eHealth implementation in secondary preventive care. Methods: A qualitative design study was used in this research. Data were collected by conducting visual mapping sessions including semistructured interviews with hypertension patients and doctors. The data were transcribed and coded and thereafter mapped into a Care Pathway. Results: Four themes emerged from the results: (1) the current approach to blood pressure measuring has disadvantages, (2) risk and lifestyle factors of blood pressure measuring need to be considered, (3) there are certain influences of the at-home context on measuring blood pressure, and (4) new touchpoints between patients and health professionals need to be designed. These in-depth insights combined with the visualization of the current blood pressure process resulted in our Care Pathway design for monitoring the blood pressure of at-risk patients as secondary preventive care. Conclusions: The Care Pathway guides the implementation of eHealth devices for blood pressure self-measurement. It showcases the pathway of at-risk patients and increases their involvement in managing their blood pressure. It serves as a basis for a new service using eHealth.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: NIHClinicalCenter; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/clinicalcenternih/27220715681; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Provider- and Patient-Related Barriers to and Facilitators of Digital Health Technology Adoption for Hypertension Management: Scoping Review

    Abstract:

    Background: The uptake of digital health technology (DHT) has been surprisingly low in clinical practice. Despite showing great promise to improve patient outcomes and disease management, there is limited information on the factors that contribute to the limited adoption of DHT, particularly for hypertension management. Objective: This scoping review provides a comprehensive summary of barriers to and facilitators of DHT adoption for hypertension management reported in the published literature with a focus on provider- and patient-related barriers and facilitators. Methods: This review followed the methodological framework developed by Arskey and O’Malley. Systematic literature searches were conducted on PubMed or Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Excerpta Medica database. Articles that reported on barriers to and/or facilitators of digital health adoption for hypertension management published in English between 2008 and 2017 were eligible. Studies not reporting on barriers or facilitators to DHT adoption for management of hypertension were excluded. A total of 2299 articles were identified based on the above criteria after removing duplicates, and they were assessed for eligibility. Of these, 2165 references did not meet the inclusion criteria. After assessing 134 studies in full text, 98 studies were excluded (full texts were either unavailable or studies did not fulfill the inclusion criteria), resulting in a final set of 32 articles. In addition, 4 handpicked articles were also included in the review, making it a total of 36 studies. Results: A total of 36 studies were selected for data extraction after abstract and full-text screening by 2 independent reviewers. All conflicts were resolved by a third reviewer. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify major themes pertaining to barriers and facilitators of DHT from both provider and patient perspectives. The key facilitators of DHT adoption by physicians that were identified include ease of integration with clinical workflow, improvement in patient outcomes, and technology usability and technical support. Technology usability and timely technical support improved self-management and patient experience, and positive impact on patient-provider communication were most frequently reported facilitators for patients. Barriers to use of DHTs reported by physicians include lack of integration with clinical workflow, lack of validation of technology, and lack of technology usability and technical support. Finally, lack of technology usability and technical support, interference with patient-provider relationship, and lack of validation of technology were the most commonly reported barriers by patients. Conclusions: Findings suggest the settings and context in which DHTs are implemented and individuals involved in implementation influence adoption. Finally, to fully realize the potential of digitally enabled hypertension management, there is a greater need to validate these technologies to provide patients and providers with reliable and accurate information on both clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Quinn Dombrowski; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/5646121120; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Mobile Health for Central Sleep Apnea Screening Among Patients With Stable Heart Failure: Single-Cohort, Open, Prospective Trial

    Abstract:

    Background: Polysomnography is the gold standard for detection of central sleep apnea in patients with stable heart failure. However, this procedure is costly, time consuming, and a burden to the patient and therefore unsuitable as a screening method. An electronic health (eHealth) app to measure overnight oximetry may be an acceptable screening alternative, as it can be automatically analyzed and is less burdensome to patients. Objective: This study aimed to assess whether overnight pulse oximetry using a smartphone-compatible oximeter can be used to detect central sleep apnea in a population with stable heart failure. Methods: A total of 26 patients with stable heart failure underwent one night of both a polygraph examination and overnight saturation using a smartphone-compatible oximeter. The primary endpoint was agreement between the oxygen desaturation index (ODI) above or below 15 on the smartphone-compatible oximeter and the diagnosis of the polygraph. Results: The median age of patients was 66.4 (interquartile range, 62-71) years and 92% were men. The median body mass index was 27.1 (interquartile range, 24.4-30.8) kg/m2. Two patients were excluded due to incomplete data, and two other patients were excluded because they could not use a smartphone. Seven patients had central sleep apnea, and 6 patients had obstructive sleep apnea. Of the 7 (of 22, 32%) patients with central sleep apnea that were included in the analysis, 3 (13%) had an ODI≥15. Of all patients without central sleep apnea, 8 (36%) had an ODI<15. The McNemar test yielded a P value of .55. Conclusions: Oxygen desaturation measured by this smartphone-compatible oximeter is a weak predictor of central sleep apnea in patients with stable heart failure.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/close-up-senior-man-s-hand-holding-smart-phone_3434416.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Achieving Rapid Blood Pressure Control With Digital Therapeutics: Retrospective Cohort and Machine Learning Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Behavioral therapies, such as electronic counseling and self-monitoring dispensed through mobile apps, have been shown to improve blood pressure, but the results vary and long-term engagement is a challenge. Machine learning is a rapidly advancing discipline that can be used to generate predictive and responsive models for the management and treatment of chronic conditions and shows potential for meaningfully improving outcomes. Objective: The objectives of this retrospective analysis were to examine the effect of a novel digital therapeutic on blood pressure in adults with hypertension and to explore the ability of machine learning to predict participant completion of the intervention. Methods: Participants with hypertension, who engaged with the digital intervention for at least 2 weeks and had paired blood pressure values, were identified from the intervention database. Participants were required to be ≥18 years old, reside in the United States, and own a smartphone. The digital intervention offers personalized behavior therapy, including goal setting, skill building, and self-monitoring. Participants reported blood pressure values at will, and changes were calculated using averages of baseline and final values for each participant. Machine learning was used to generate a model of participants who would complete the intervention. Random forest models were trained at days 1, 3, and 7 of the intervention, and the generalizability of the models was assessed using leave-one-out cross-validation. Results: The primary cohort comprised 172 participants with hypertension, having paired blood pressure values, who were engaged with the intervention. Of the total, 86.1% participants were women, the mean age was 55.0 years (95% CI 53.7-56.2), baseline systolic blood pressure was 138.9 mmHg (95% CI 136.6-141.3), and diastolic was 86.2 mmHg (95% CI 84.8-87.7). Mean change was –11.5 mmHg for systolic blood pressure and –5.9 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure over a mean of 62.6 days (P<.001). Among participants with stage 2 hypertension, mean change was –17.6 mmHg for systolic blood pressure and –8.8 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure remained significant in a mixed-effects model accounting for the baseline systolic blood pressure, age, gender, and body mass index (P<.001). A total of 43% of the participants tracking their blood pressure at 12 weeks achieved the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of blood pressure control. The 7-day predictive model for intervention completion was trained on 427 participants, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was .78. Conclusions: Reductions in blood pressure were observed in adults with hypertension who used the digital therapeutic. The degree of blood pressure reduction was clinically meaningful and achieved rapidly by a majority of the studied participants. Greater improvement was observed in participants with more severe hypertension at baseline. A successful proof of concept for using machine learning to predict intervention completion was presented.

  • Custom-developed software used as part of the Telemonitoring system for OXHARP-1 (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/2/e11332/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Feasibility of Telemonitoring Blood Pressure in Patients With Kidney Disease (Oxford Heart and Renal Protection Study-1): Observational Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Blood pressure (BP) is a key modifiable risk factor for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), with current guidelines recommending strict control to reduce the risk of progression of both CKD and cardiovascular disease. Trials involving BP lowering require multiple visits to achieve target BP, which increases the costs of such trials, and in routine care, BP measured in the clinic may not accurately reflect the usual BP. Objective: We sought to assess whether a telemonitoring system for BP (using a Bluetooth-enabled BP machine that could transmit BP measurements to a tablet device installed with a bespoke app to guide the measurement of BP and collect questionnaire data) was acceptable to patients with CKD and whether patients would provide sufficient BP readings to assess variability and guide treatment. Methods: A total of 25 participants with CKD were trained to use the telemonitoring equipment and asked to record BP daily for 30 days, attend a study visit, and then record BP on alternate days for the next 60 days. They were also offered a wrist-worn applanation tonometry device (BPro) which measures BP every 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. Participants were given questionnaires at the 1- and 3-month time points; the questionnaires were derived from the System Usability Scale and Technology Acceptance Model. All eligible participants completed the study. Results: Mean participant age was 58 (SD 11) years, and mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 36 (SD 13) mL/min/1.73m2. 13/25 (52%) participants provided >90% of the expected data and 18/25 (72%) provided >80% of the expected data. The usability of the telemonitoring system was rated highly, with mean scores of 84.9/100 (SE 2.8) after 30 days and 84.2/100 (SE 4.1) after 90 days. The coefficient of variation for the variability of systolic BP telemonitoring was 9.4% (95% CI 7.8-10.9) compared with 7.9% (95% CI 6.4-9.5) for the BPro device, P=.05 (and was 9.0% over 1 year in a recently completed trial with identical eligibility criteria), indicating that most variation in BP was short term. Conclusions: Telemonitoring is acceptable for patients with CKD and provides sufficient data to inform titration of antihypertensive therapies in either a randomized trial setting (comparing BP among different targets) or routine clinical practice. Such methods could be employed in both scenarios and reduce costs currently associated with such activities. Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN13725286; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN13725286 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/74PAX51Ji).

  • Remote patient monitoring intervention (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/2/e10319/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Remote Patient Monitoring Intervention for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Heart Failure: Pre-Post Economic Analysis of the...

    Abstract:

    Background: Exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure (CHF) are associated with high health care costs owing to increased emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) interventions aim to improve the monitoring of symptoms to detect early deterioration and provide self-management strategies. As a result, RPM aims to reduce health resource utilization. To date, studies have inconsistently reported the benefits of RPM in chronic illnesses. The Smart Program is an RPM intervention that aims to provide clinical benefit to patients and economic benefit to health care payers. Objective: This study aims to economically evaluate the potential benefits of the Smart Program in terms of hospitalizations and ER visits and, thus, associated health care costs from the perspective of the public health care system. Methods: Seventy-four patients diagnosed with COPD or CHF from one hospital site were included in this one-group, pre-post study. The study involved a secondary data analysis of deidentified data collected during the study period – from 3 months before program initiation (baseline), during the program, to 3 months after program completion (follow-up). Descriptive analysis was conducted for the study population characteristics at baseline, the clinical frailty score at baseline and 3-month follow-up, client satisfaction at 3-month follow-up, and number and costs of ER visits and hospitalizations throughout the study period. Furthermore, the cost of the Smart Program over a 3-month period was calculated from the perspective of the potential implementer. Results: The baseline characteristics of the study population (N=74) showed that the majority of patients had COPD (50/74, 68%), were female (42/74, 57%), and had an average age of 72 (SD 12) years. Using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, the number of ER visits and hospitalizations, including their associated costs, were significantly reduced between baseline and 3-month follow-up (P<.001). The intervention showed a potential 68% and 35% reduction in ER visits and hospitalizations, respectively, between the 3-month pre- and 3-month postintervention period. The average cost of ER visits reduced from Can $243 at baseline to Can $67 during the 3-month follow-up, and reduced from Can $3842 to Can $1399 for hospitalizations. Conclusions: In this study, the number and cost of ER visits and hospitalizations appeared to be markedly reduced for patients with COPD or CHF when comparing data before and after the Smart Program implementation. Recognizing the limitations of the one-group, pre-post study design, RPM requires an upfront investment, but it has the potential to reduce health care costs to the system over time. This study represents another piece of evidence to support the potential value of RPM among patients with COPD or CHF.

  • Medly phone with peripheral devices and user manual. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/2/e11466/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    User-Centered Adaptation of an Existing Heart Failure Telemonitoring Program to Ensure Sustainability and Scalability: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Telemonitoring interventions for the management of heart failure have seen limited adoption in Canadian health systems, but isolated examples of telemonitoring programs do exist. An example of such a program was launched in a specialty heart failure 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 were to (1) understand which components of the telemonitoring program could be modified to reduce costs and adapted to other contexts while maintaining program fidelity and (2) describe the changes made to the telemonitoring program to enable its sustainability within the initial implementation site and scalability to other health organizations. Methods: Semistructured interviews probed the experiences of patients (n=23) and clinicians (n=8) involved in the telemonitoring 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: A total of 5 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 telemonitoring 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 used their own smartphone, weight scale, and blood pressure cuff. Changes also included the development of a website aimed at reducing the burden on a technical support telehealth analyst. In addition, the interviews suggested that although it is important to have a clinician who is part of a patient’s circle of care monitoring telemonitoring alerts, the skill level and experience were 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 telemonitoring alerts and take over the technical support role from a telehealth analyst. Conclusions: This study provides a user-centered example of how necessary cost-reduction actions can be taken to ensure the sustainability and scalability of telemonitoring programs. In addition, the findings offer insights into what components of a telemonitoring program can be safely adapted to ensure its integration in various clinical settings.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: stevepb; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/hands-old-typing-laptop-internet-545394/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Quality of Medical Advice Provided Between Members of a Web-Based Message Board for Patients With Implantable Defibrillators: Mixed-Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients use Web-based medical information to understand medical conditions and treatments. A number of efforts have been made to understand the quality of professionally created content; however, none have described the quality of advice being provided between anonymous members of Web-based message boards. Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize the quality of medical information provided between members of an anonymous internet message board addressing treatment with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Methods: We quantitatively analyzed 2 years of discussions using a mixed inductive-deductive framework, first, for instances in which members provided medical advice and, then, for the quality of the advice. Results: We identified 82 instances of medical advice within 127 discussions. Advice covered 6 topical areas: (1) Device information, (2) Programming, (3) Cardiovascular disease, (4) Lead management, (5) Activity restriction, and (6) Management of other conditions. Across all advice, 50% (41/82) was deemed generally appropriate, 24% (20/82) inappropriate for most patients, 6% (5/82) controversial, and 20% (16/82) without sufficient context. Proportions of quality categories varied between topical areas. We have included representative examples. Conclusions: The quality of advice shared between anonymous members of a message board regarding ICDs varied considerably according to topical area and the specificity of advice. This report provides a model to describe the quality of the available Web-based patient-generated material.

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  • medical prescription pattern and extent of control of essential hypertension in hypertensive patients attending Ndola Central Hospital outpatient clinic:cross sectional study

    Date Submitted: Nov 1, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Nov 1, 2019 - Dec 27, 2019

    Background: Medical prescription pattern of essential hypertension is very important because it helps to observe the prescribing attitude of physicians with the aim of rational use of drugs based on t...

    Background: Medical prescription pattern of essential hypertension is very important because it helps to observe the prescribing attitude of physicians with the aim of rational use of drugs based on the WHO guidelines. Antihypertensive drugs in the treatment of essential hypertension is classified as monotherapy or (polypharmacy). Single therapy are mostly used as the initial therapy. Recognition of adverse drug reactions, drug - disease interactions, cautions and contra-indications are all important when prescribing antihypertensive therapy. High blood pressure is the leading health problem and the most common cardiovascular disease such as ischemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke, chronic renal insufficiency which results in high morbidity and mortality worldwide if poorly controlled. Objective:  To determine the prevalence of controlled hypertension to uncontrolled hypertension  Determine the most prescribed therapy between monotherapy and polypharmacy.  Determine percentage usage of different categories antihypertensive drug  Determine the prevalence of awareness of complications of poor control of essential hypertension Methods: The cross section study was conducted at Ndola central hospital. The study is designed to have a sample size of 160 participants at an estimated cost of K1, 300. The study will be conducted within 6 month Results: In all the patient N=160, the blood pressure was well controlled in N=138 (86.3%), while in N=22 (13.8%) it was not well controlled. In all the participants were N=160, most of the participants N=111 (69.45%) were prescribed polypharmacy were N=49 (30.6%) of the patient were prescribed monotherapy. Amongst hypertensive drugs the most prescribed monotherapy was Nifedipine N=30 (18.8%). Which is calcium bloker. Followed by enalapril N=13 (8.1%) which is angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. The least was Lasix N=3 (1.9%). On the polypharmacy the most prescribed was Nifedipine plus Analopril N=36 (22.5%) which is calcium channel bloker plus angiotensin converting enzyme Inhibitors. Then nifedipine plus atenolol N=16 (10.0%). The least being Nifedipine plus Moduretics plus amylodipine plus analopril plus atenolol pus losartan N=6 (3.8%). Which is CCB+ACEIs+ARB+Diuretics. In all the participants were N=160, of which 117 (73.1%) participants were aware of complications associated to poor control of essential hypertension. Only 43(26.9%) were not aware of complications associated to poor control of essential hypertension. Conclusions: This study reviewed the prevalence of controlled was 86%. In which both sex had good BP control. However there was increase in incidence of BP with age. Poly pharmacy was the frequently prescribed medication in this study with prevalence of 69% of which the most prescribed poly pharmacy was CCB+ACEIs specifically Nifedipine +Enalapril (22%). While the frequently prescribed monotherapy was CCB specifically Nifedipine. Followed by ACEIs Enalapril. In relation to age Nifedipine was commonly used in older patients while Enalapril was commonly prescribed in young adults. The prevalence of awareness of complication associated to poor control of essential hypertension was 73% of which the most know complication was stroke and heart failure With all this done, the objectives of this study can therefore be said to have been met as the study succeeded in determining the prescription pattern and extent control of essential hypertension at Ndola Teaching Hospital outpatient clinic.

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