mHealth Engages Heart Failure Patients

APRIL 14, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor
Patients who use mobile-based telemonitoring systems for heart failure (HF) self-management feel more connected to the health care team.
Researchers conducted a 90-day study with 21 ambulatory HF patients using mobile health (mHealth) technology called iGetBetter, which aims to aid patients in disease self-management.
With a Bluetooth weight scale, self-inflating blood pressure cuff, and iPad Mini tablet computers, the patients were able to weigh themselves, take their blood pressure, record their heart rate, and see their results online.
Twenty of the 21 participants, whose average age was 53 years, completed the study, and 95% said they felt more connected to the health care team as a result of the iGetBetter system. They also reported feeling more confident in performing care plan activities.
Better provider-patient communication may also be achieved through iGetBetter, since 90% of the participants said they felt better prepared to start discussions about their health with their physician. More than half of participants had >80% engagement with the system on a weekly basis.
The researchers acknowledged a larger, more diverse study group would be useful in examining how mHealth programs like iGetBetter could lead to improved patient outcomes for those with HF.
“This is an important study evaluating the use of a Web- and telephone-based remote monitoring program using portable, wireless, and easy-to-use personal connected health devices to engage heart failure patients in self-managing their disease outside of the hospital setting,” said study author Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, vice president of connected health for Partners HealthCare, in a press release. “While additional study is required, we are quite encouraged by the results and believe that mobile-based, heart failure self-management can play an important role in improving disease management and clinical outcomes.”
The results of the current study were published in mHealth and uHealth, a spin-off of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.