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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: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cardio.jmir.org/2018/2/e10228/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Mobile Phone–Based Healthy Lifestyle Monitoring Tool for People With Mental Health Problems (MyHealthPA): Development and Pilot Testing

    Abstract:

    Background: People with mental health disorders live, on average, 20 years less than those without, often because of poor physical health including cardiovascular disease (CVD). Evidence-based interventions are required to reduce this lifespan gap. Objective: This study aimed to develop, test, and evaluate a mobile phone–based lifestyle program (MyHealthPA) to help people with mental health problems improve key health risk behaviors and reduce their risk of CVD. Methods: The development of MyHealthPA occurred in 3 stages: (1) scoping of the literature, (2) a survey (n=251) among people with and without the experience of mental health problems, and (3) program development informed by stages 1 and 2. A small pilot trial among young people with and without mental health disorders was also conducted. Participants completed a baseline assessment and were given access to the MyHealthPA program for a period of 8 weeks. They were then asked to complete an end-of-treatment assessment and a follow-up assessment 1 month later. Results: In the study, 28 young people aged 19 to 25 years were recruited to the pilot trial. Of these, 12 (12/28, 43%) had been previously diagnosed with a mental illness. Overall, 12 participants (12/28, 43%) completed the end-of-treatment assessment and 6 (6/28, 21%) completed the follow-up assessment. Small improvements in fruit and vegetable consumption, level of physical activity, alcohol use, and mood were found between baseline and end of treatment and follow-up, particularly among people with experience of mental health issues. Most participants (history of mental illness: 4/7, 57%; no history of mental illness: 3/5, 60%) reported the program had above average usability; however, only 29% (2/7, no history of mental illness) to 40% (2/5, history of mental illness) of participants reported that they would like to use the program frequently and would recommend it to other young people. Participants also identified a number of ways in which the program could be improved. Conclusions: This study describes the formative research and process of planning that formed the development of MyHealthPA and the evidence base underpinning the approach. The MyHealthPA program represents an innovative approach to CVD risk reduction among people with mental health problems. MyHealthPA appears to be an acceptable, easy-to-use, and potentially effective mHealth intervention to assist young people with mental illness to monitor risk factors for CVD. However, ways in which the program could be improved for future testing and dissemination were identified and discussed.

  • 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 https://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.

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  • Use of free-living step count monitoring for heart failure functional classification: a validation study

    Date Submitted: Sep 7, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 11, 2018 - Nov 6, 2018

    Background: A previously published pilot study showed a statistically significant difference between New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and step count activity measured by wrist-worn a...

    Background: A previously published pilot study showed a statistically significant difference between New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and step count activity measured by wrist-worn activity monitors in patients with heart failure (HF). However, the study’s small sample size severely limits scientific confidence in the generalizability of this finding to a larger HF population. Objective: 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. Methods: We repeated the analysis performed during the pilot study on an independently recorded dataset consisting of 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 two weeks in a free-living environment. Results: Patients exhibiting NYHA class III symptoms had significantly lower recorded mean of daily total step count (4012 ± 1933 vs. 5484 ± 2640 [steps/day], P = .04), lower recorded mean of daily mean step count (2.8 ± 1.3 vs. 3.8 ± 1.8 [steps/day], P = .04,), and lower mean and maximum of the daily per minute step count maximums (80.5 vs. 95.6, & 112.9 vs. 125.7 [steps/minute], P = .02, & .004 respectively). Conclusions: Patients with NYHA II and III symptoms differed significantly by various aggregate measures of free-living step count including 1) mean daily total step count as well as, newly discovered, by 2) mean, and 3) maximum of the daily per minute step count maximums. 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 is highly suggestive of 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.

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

    Date Submitted: Aug 20, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Aug 24, 2018 - Oct 19, 2018

    Background: Management of hypertension employing digital health technologies (DHT) has been proven to improve long-term patient outcomes. However, the uptake of DHT has been surprisingly low in clinic...

    Background: Management of hypertension employing digital health technologies (DHT) has been proven to improve long-term patient outcomes. However, the uptake of 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 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 was conducted using the methodological framework developed by Arskey and O’Malley and reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Systematic literature searches were conducted on PubMed/ Medline, CINAHL, and EMBASE. 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 criteria above after removing duplicates and 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 unavailable or studies did not fulfill the inclusion criteria) resulting in a final set of 32 articles. Four hand-picked articles were also included in the review. Results: A total of 36 studies were selected for data extraction after abstract and full-text screening by two 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. Key facilitators of DHT adoption by physicians identified include integration with clinical workflow, ease of use, improvement in patient outcomes and organizational support. Improved patient-provider relationship, positive impact on well-being and self-management were most frequently reported facilitators for patients. Barriers to use of DHTs reported by physicians include mistrust in technology, data security, lack of usability, and organizational support and commitment to DHT adoption. Finally, a lack of perceived benefit from technology, lack of ease of use and concern over data security were some of the barriers commonly reported by patients. Conclusions: Although technology has evolved at a rapid pace, many facilitators and barriers reported by patients and providers are consistent over time. Our findings suggest the settings and context in which DHT are implemented, and individuals involved in implementation such as providers, patients and leadership influence adoption in healthcare settings. Real-world testing and incorporating feedback from key stakeholders including patients, providers and hospital management while designing DHT will improve their usability and thereby the 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. Clinical Trial: N/A

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