App to help Ipswich heart attack patients recover

PATIENTS recovering from heart attacks are far more likely to complete life-saving rehabilitation if they have access to a new smartphone app developed by CSIRO, research has shown.

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

What's more, those who used CSIRO's smartphone home care delivery model - known as the Care Assessment Platform - were 40% more likely to adhere to the program and almost 70% more likely to see it through to completion.

The trial results, which showed that the Care Assessment Platform model was just as clinically effective as traditional rehab, were so successful that the next generation version of the platform will soon be offered in a number of Queensland hospitals including Ipswich, Metro North and West Moreton Hospital and Health Services.

According to Dr Mohan Karunanithi from CSIRO's Digital Productivity Flagship, studies have clearly shown that patients who successfully complete cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack have much better health outcomes.

They are less likely to 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," Dr Karunanithi said.

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

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