HEART HEALTH: The app providing support for heart attack patients.
HEART HEALTH: The app providing support for heart attack patients. CONTRIBUTED

Phone app could be key to healthy heart

A CSIRO smartphone app is helping heart attack patients complete life-saving rehabilitation.

A clinical trial has found cardiac patients who undertook rehabilitation in their own homes via the smartphone app were 30% more likely to take part in their rehab program than those who had to travel to an outpatient clinic or centre.

The app features health and exercise monitoring tools, delivers motivational materials through text messages and contains multimedia that educates patients about disease symptoms and management.

CSIRO's Dr Mohan Karunanithi said on Wednesday studies had clearly shown patients who successfully complete cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack had much better health outcomes.

He said they were less likely to have another cardiac event, be readmitted to hospital or die from their condition.

"These programs traditionally take the form of group-based exercise and educational activities and are designed to help patients return to an active, satisfying life," he said.

"The smartphone app offers another choice which is one of the key barriers to patient participation and recovery.

"By integrating rehab with a patient's daily life they are more likely to complete the program and make their new healthy lifestyle permanent."


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