JMIR Publications

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JMIR Cardio

Electronic, mobile, digital health approaches in cardiology and for cardiovascular health.

Official partner journal of the European Congress on eCardiology and eHealth


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 2016: 5.175). 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:

  • Digital Health Innovation: A Toolkit to Navigate From Concept to Clinical Testing


    Digital health technologies such as smartphone apps, Web-based platforms, and wearable devices are rapidly emerging as promising interventions for acute and chronic disease management, particularly in the field of cardiovascular medicine. However, there is limited guidance on how to effectively develop and rigorously test digital health interventions (DHIs). Through our experience with innovating Corrie, a smartphone-based app paired with a smartwatch and blood pressure monitor for myocardial infarction recovery in the acute setting, we aim to provide a toolkit for navigating the digital health technology development and clinical testing processes. The toolkit consists of 6 steps: step one emphasizes concept generation by defining a specific clinical problem and the existing solutions aimed to address it; step two aims to recruit a multidisciplinary team within an academic institution; step three leverages technology accelerators and industry partnerships; step four develops the digital health technology with continuous feedback from patient and family end-users; step five solicits feedback from a diverse array of stakeholders; and step six performs a clinical study at a single site that, if successful, rapidly scales to multiple sites. DHI development is often a complex and vastly uncharted territory. By exploring the steps we took from concept to clinical testing with the first cardiology CareKit app, we hope to provide useful insights to teams that are starting out on their path to digital health innovation. We emphasize the central importance of embracing transdisciplinary work to move from silos to synergy.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: torez_e; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Consumer Wearable Devices for Activity Monitoring Among Individuals After a Stroke: A Prospective Comparison


    Background: Activity monitoring is necessary to investigate sedentary behavior after a stroke. Consumer wearable devices are an attractive alternative to research-grade technology, but measurement properties have not been established. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of 2 wrist-worn fitness trackers: Fitbit Charge HR (FBT) and Garmin Vivosmart (GAR). Methods: Adults attending in- or outpatient therapy for stroke (n=37) wore FBT and GAR each on 2 separate days, in addition to an X6 accelerometer and Actigraph chest strap monitor. Step counts and heart rate data were extracted, and the agreement between devices was determined using Pearson or Spearman correlation and paired t or Wilcoxon signed rank tests (one- and two-sided). Subgroup analyses were conducted. Results: Step counts from FBT and GAR positively correlated with the X6 accelerometer (ρ=.78 and ρ=.65, P<.001, respectively) but were significantly lower (P<.01). For individuals using a rollator, there was no significant correlation between step counts from the X6 accelerometer and either FBT (ρ=.42, P=.12) or GAR (ρ=.30, P=.27). Heart rate from Actigraph, FBT, and GAR demonstrated responsiveness to changes in activity. Both FBT and GAR positively correlated with Actigraph for average heart rate (r=.53 and .75, P<.01, respectively) and time in target zone (ρ=.49 and .74, P<.01, respectively); these measures were not significantly different, but nonequivalence was found. Conclusions: FBT and GAR had moderate to strong correlation with best available reference measures of walking activity in individuals with subacute stroke. Accuracy appears to be lower among rollator users and varies according to heart rhythm. Consumer wearables may be a viable option for large-scale studies of physical activity.

  • Fitbit and Apple Watch. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Assessing the Use of Wrist-Worn Devices in Patients With Heart Failure: Feasibility Study


    Background: Exercise capacity and raised heart rate (HR) are important prognostic markers in patients with heart failure (HF). There has been significant interest in wrist-worn devices that track activity and HR. Objective: We aimed to assess the feasibility and accuracy of HR and activity tracking of the Fitbit and Apple Watch. Methods: We conducted a two-phase study assessing the accuracy of HR by Apple Watch and Fitbit in healthy participants. In Phase 1, 10 healthy individuals wore a Fitbit, an Apple Watch, and a GE SEER Light 5-electrode Holter monitor while exercising on a cycle ergometer with a 10-watt step ramp protocol from 0-100 watts. In Phase 2, 10 patients with HF and New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II-III symptoms wore wrist devices for 14 days to capture overall step count/exercise levels. Results: Recorded HR by both wrist-worn devices had the best agreement with Holter readings at a workload of 60-100 watts when the rate of change of HR is less dynamic. Fitbit recorded a mean 8866 steps/day for NYHA II patients versus 4845 steps/day for NYHA III patients (P=.04). In contrast, Apple Watch recorded a mean 7027 steps/day for NYHA II patients and 4187 steps/day for NYHA III patients (P=.08). Conclusions: Both wrist-based devices are best suited for static HR rate measurements. In an outpatient setting, these devices may be adequate for average HR in patients with HF. When assessing exercise capacity, the Fitbit better differentiated patients with NYHA II versus NYHA III by the total number of steps recorded. This exploratory study indicates that these wrist-worn devices show promise in prognostication of HF in the continuous monitoring of outpatients.

  • Atrial Fibrillation Health Literacy Information Technology System. Source: Pexels; Copyright: Adrianna Calvo; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    The Atrial Fibrillation Health Literacy Information Technology System: Pilot Assessment


    Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent heart rhythm condition that has significant associated morbidity and requires chronic treatment. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have the potential to enhance multiple aspects of AF care, including education, monitoring of symptoms, and encouraging and tracking medication adherence. We have previously implemented and tested relational agents to improve outcomes in chronic disease and sought to develop a smartphone-based relational agent for improving patient-centered outcomes in AF. Objective: The objective of this study was to pilot a smartphone-based relational agent as preparation for a randomized clinical trial, the Atrial Fibrillation Health Literacy Information Technology Trial (AF-LITT). Methods: We developed the relational agent for use by a smartphone consistent with our prior approaches. We programmed the relational agent as a computer-animated agent to simulate a face-to-face conversation and to serve as a health counselor or coach specific to AF. Relational agent’s dialogue content, informed by a review of literature, focused on patient-centered domains and qualitative interviews with patients with AF, encompassed AF education, common symptoms, adherence challenges, and patient activation. We established that the content was accessible to individuals with limited health or computer literacy. Relational agent content coordinated with use of the smartphone AliveCor Kardia heart rate and rhythm monitor. Participants (N=31) were recruited as a convenience cohort from ambulatory clinical sites and instructed to use the relational agent and Kardia for 30 days. We collected demographic, social, and clinical characteristics and conducted baseline and 30-day assessments of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with the Atrial Fibrillation Effect on Quality of life (AFEQT) measure; self-reported medication adherence with the Morisky 8-item Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8); and patient activation with the Patient Activation Measure (PAM). Results: Participants (mean age 68 [SD 11]; 39% [12/31] women) used the relational agent for an average 17.8 (SD 10.0) days. The mean number of independent log-ins was 19.6 (SD 10.7), with a median of 20 times over 30 days. The mean number of Kardia uses was 26.5 (SD 5.9), and participants using Kardia were in AF for 14.3 (SD 11.0) days. AFEQT scores improved significantly from 64.5 (SD 22.9) at baseline to 76.3 (SD 19.4) units at 30 days (P<.01). We observed marginal but statistically significant improvement in self-reported medication adherence (baseline: 7.3 [SD 0.9], 30 days: 7.7 [SD 0.5]; P=.01). Assessments of acceptability identified that most of the participants found the relational agent useful, informative, and trustworthy. Conclusions: We piloted a 30-day smartphone-based intervention that combined a relational agent with dedicated content for AF alongside Kardia heart rate and rhythm monitoring. Pilot participants had favorable improvements in HRQoL and self-reported medication adherence, as well as positive responses to the intervention. These data will guide a larger, enhanced randomized trial implementing the smartphone relational agent and the Kardia monitor system.

  • Source: Startup Stock Photos; Copyright: Startup Stock Photos; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators on Social Media Report More Shock Anxiety Than Clinic Patients: Results From an Online Survey


    Background: Coping with heart disease and the potential for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shocks challenges the psychological adjustment of patients with ICDs. Social media use may be used to seek education and support from others. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the content of information sought online and whether a social media sample of patients with ICDs report more device-specific anxiety than clinic-based normative samples. Methods: A total of 196 participants were recruited via social media messages and invited to complete an online survey. Results: It was found that the information most often sought by online users (62.4%, 123/196) involved both emotional support (eg, gaining emotional support from other patients with ICDs) and technical information (52.6%, 103/196) (eg, dealing with magnetic interference). The online sample reported more shock anxiety than a typical clinical sample with mean values of 22.75 (SD 10.06) and 15.18 (SD 6.50), respectively (P<.001). Conclusions: Collectively, these results suggest that patients with ICDs that are online are seeking emotional information and support, and that they report increased shock anxiety relative to typical clinic-based patients. Future research should examine how online information and clinical-based information form a composite understanding and adjustment for patients ICDs.

  • MyHeart website. Source: MyHeart /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    My Hypertension Education and Reaching Target (MyHEART): Development and Dissemination of a Patient-Centered Website for Young Adults with Hypertension


    Background: Young adults (18 to 39 years old) with hypertension have the lowest rates of blood pressure control (defined as blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg) compared to other adult age groups. Approximately 1 in 15 young adults have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of future heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and/or chronic kidney disease. Many young adults reported having few resources to address their needs for health education on managing cardiovascular risk. Objective: The goal of our study was to develop and disseminate a website with evidence-based, clinical information and health behavior resources tailored to young adults with hypertension. Methods: In collaboration with young adults, health systems, and community stakeholders, the My Hypertension Education and Reaching Target (MyHEART) website was created. A toolkit was also developed for clinicians and healthcare systems to disseminate the website within their organizations. The dissemination plan was guided by the Dissemination Planning Tool of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Results: Google Analytics data were acquired for January 1, 2017 to June 29, 2017. The MyHEART website received 1090 visits with 2130 page views; 18.99% (207/1090) were returning visitors. The majority (55.96%, 610/1090) approached the website through organic searches, 34.95% (381/1090) accessed the MyHEART website directly, and 5.96% (65/1090) approached through referrals from other sites. There was a spike in site visits around times of increased efforts to disseminate the website. Conclusions: The successfully implemented MyHEART website and toolkit reflect collaborative input from community and healthcare stakeholders to provide evidence-based, portable hypertension education to a hard-to-reach population. The MyHEART website and toolkit can support healthcare providers’ education and counseling with young adults and organizations’ hypertension population health goals.

  • TAVIE@COEUR homepage and virtual nurse (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Web-Based Tailored Intervention to Support Illness Management in Patients With an Acute Coronary Syndrome: Pilot Study


    Background: Illness management after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is crucial to prevent cardiac complications, to foster participation in a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program, and to optimize recovery. Web-based tailored interventions have the potential to provide individualized information and counseling to optimize patient’s illness management after hospital discharge. Objective: We aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a Web-based tailored intervention (TAVIE@COEUR) designed to improve illness management in patients hospitalized for an ACS. Illness management outcomes were operationalized by self-care, medication adherence, anxiety management, cardiac risk factors reduction, and enrollment in a CR program. Methods: This posttest pilot study was conducted with one group (N=30) of patients hospitalized for an ACS on the coronary care unit of a tertiary cardiology center. TAVIE@COEUR comprises three Web-based sessions, with a duration ranging from 10 to 45 min and is structured around an algorithm to allow the tailoring of the intervention to different pathways according to patients’ responses to questions. TAVIE@COEUR includes 90 pages, 85 videos, and 47 PDF documents divided across session 1 (S1), session 2 (S2), and session 3 (S3). These sessions concern self-care and self-observation skills related to medication-taking (S1), emotional control and problem-solving skills (S2), and social skills and interacting with health professionals (S3). Throughout the videos, a virtual nurse (providing the intervention virtually) guides the participants in the acquisition of self-care skills. Patients completed S1 of TAVIE@COEUR before hospital discharge and were asked to complete S2 and S3 within 2 weeks after discharge. Feasibility indicators were extracted from the TAVIE@COEUR system. Data regarding acceptability (satisfaction and appreciation of the platform) and preliminary effect (self-care, medication adherence, anxiety management, risk factor reduction, and CR enrollment) were assessed through questionnaires at 1 month following discharge. Preliminary effect was assessed by comparing baseline and 1-month illness management variables. Results: Of the 30 participants, 20 completed S1, 10 completed S2, and 5 completed S3. Good acceptability scores were observed for ease of navigation (mean=3.58, standard deviation [SD]=0.70; scale=0-4), ease of understanding (mean=3.46, SD=0.63; scale=0-4), and applicability (mean=3.55, SD=0.74; scale=0-4). The lowest acceptability scores were observed for information tailoring (mean=2.93, SD=0.68; scale=0-4) and individual relevance (mean=2.56, SD=0.96; scale=0-4). With regard to preliminary effect, we observed an overall self-care at 1 month following discharge score higher than at baseline (mean at 1 month=54.07, SD=3.99 vs mean at baseline=49.09, SD=6.92; scale-0-60). Conclusions: Although participants reported general satisfaction and appreciation of TAVIE@COEUR, acceptability and feasibility results show the need for further development of the Web-based intervention to enhance its tailoring before undertaking a full-fledged randomized controlled trial. This may be accomplished by optimizing the adaptability of TAVIE@COEUR to patients’ knowledge, needs, interests, individual capabilities, and emotional and cognitive responses during session completion.

  • Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Self-Care in Patients With Heart Failure: Pilot Randomized Control Trial


    Background: Heart failure (HF) is a progressive chronic disease affecting 6.5 million Americans and over 15 million individuals globally. Patients with HF are required to engage in complex self-care behaviors. Although the advancements in medicine have enabled people with HF to live longer, they often have poor health-related quality of life and experience severe and frequent symptoms that limit several aspects of their lives. Mobile phone apps have not only created new and interactive ways of communication between patients and health care providers but also provide a platform to enhance adherence to self-care management. Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of a newly developed mobile app (HeartMapp) in improving self-care behaviors and quality of life of patients with HF and to calculate effect sizes for sample size calculation for a larger study. Methods: This was a pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial. Participants were enrolled in the hospital before discharge and followed at home for 30 days. The intervention group used HeartMapp (n=9), whereas the control group (n=9) received HF education. These apps were downloaded onto their mobile phones for daily use. Results: A total of 72% (13/18) participants completed the study; the mean age of the participants was 53 (SD 4.02) years, 56% (10/18) were females, 61% (11/18) lived alone, 33% (6/18) were African Americans, and 61% (11/18) used mobile phone to get health information. The mean engagement with HeartMapp was 78%. Results were promising with a trend that participants in the HeartMapp group had a significant mean score change on self-care management (8.7 vs 2.3; t3.38=11, P=.01), self-care confidence (6.7 vs 1.8; t2.53=11, P=.28), and HF knowledge (3 vs −0.66; t2.37=11, P=.04. Depression improved among both groups, more so in the control group (−1.14 vs −5.17; t1.97=11, P=.07). Quality of life declined among both groups, more so in the control group (2.14 vs 9.0; t−1.43=11, P=.18). Conclusions: The trends demonstrated in this pilot feasibility study warrant further exploration on the use of HeartMapp to improve HF outcomes. Trial Registration: Pilot study, no funding from National agencies, hence not registered.

  • EpxHypertension (montage). Source: Unsplash / MagicMockups; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Assessing the Utility of a Novel SMS- and Phone-Based System for Blood Pressure Control in Hypertensive Patients: Feasibility Study


    Background: Although hypertension (HTN) is a major modifiable risk factor for arterial damage, blood pressure (BP) remains poorly controlled in the hypertensive population. Telemedicine is a promising adjunct intervention that may complement traditional therapies and improve adherence rates; however, current approaches have multiple barriers to entry, including the use of relatively expensive Bluetooth devices or the dependence on smart phone utilization, which tend to exclude low-income and more elderly populations. Objective: The aim of this study was to design and implement a new phone call- and short message service text messaging-based intervention, Epharmix’s EpxHypertension, in a quality improvement project that demonstrates the feasibility of this system for BP control in a family medicine setting. Methods: We recruited 174 patients from a community clinic in St Louis from a database of patients diagnosed with HTN. An automated call or text messaging system was used to monitor patient-reported BPs. If determined to be elevated, physicians were notified by an email, text, or electronic medical record alert. Mean systolic BPs (SBPs) and diastolic BPs (DBPs) were compared at the beginning and end of 12 weeks. Results: After 12 weeks on the system, patients with a baseline SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher reduced SBP by 10.8 mm Hg (95% CI −14.5 to −7.2, P<.001) and DBP by 6.6 mm Hg (95% CI −9.9 to −3.4, P=.002), but no significant changes were observed in overall BPs and BPs in the group with baseline SBP less than 140 mm Hg. Conclusions: EpxHypertension provides a viable means to control HTN in patients with high baseline BPs despite previous therapy. This community implementation study demonstrates the feasibility of implementing EpxHypertension across a primary care setting without the need for smartphones or Bluetooth-linked BP cuffs. Future studies should evaluate its effectiveness in a randomized control trial compared with standard of care.

  • Sentinel Vest. Image Source: Copyright Philips Research.

    Bioimpedance-Based Heart Failure Deterioration Prediction Using a Prototype Fluid Accumulation Vest-Mobile Phone Dyad: An Observational Study


    Background: Recurrent heart failure (HF) events are common in patients discharged after acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). New patient-centered technologies are needed to aid in detecting HF decompensation. Transthoracic bioimpedance noninvasively measures pulmonary fluid retention. Objective: The objectives of our study were to (1) determine whether transthoracic bioimpedance can be measured daily with a novel, noninvasive, wearable fluid accumulation vest (FAV) and transmitted using a mobile phone and (2) establish whether an automated algorithm analyzing daily thoracic bioimpedance values would predict recurrent HF events. Methods: We prospectively enrolled patients admitted for ADHF. Participants were trained to use a FAV–mobile phone dyad and asked to transmit bioimpedance measurements for 45 consecutive days. We examined the performance of an algorithm analyzing changes in transthoracic bioimpedance as a predictor of HF events (HF readmission, diuretic uptitration) over a 75-day follow-up. Results: We observed 64 HF events (18 HF readmissions and 46 diuretic uptitrations) in the 106 participants (67 years; 63.2%, 67/106, male; 48.1%, 51/106, with prior HF) who completed follow-up. History of HF was the only clinical or laboratory factor related to recurrent HF events (P=.04). Among study participants with sufficient FAV data (n=57), an algorithm analyzing thoracic bioimpedance showed 87% sensitivity (95% CI 82-92), 70% specificity (95% CI 68-72), and 72% accuracy (95% CI 70-74) for identifying recurrent HF events. Conclusions: Patients discharged after ADHF can measure and transmit daily transthoracic bioimpedance using a FAV–mobile phone dyad. Algorithms analyzing thoracic bioimpedance may help identify patients at risk for recurrent HF events after hospital discharge.

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