Mobile health (mHealth) apps can assist in reducing 90-day readmissions for cardiac rehab patients, a new study from the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic reveals.
For the study, researchers looked at 44 patients at Mayo Clinic who were hospitalized following a heart attack and stent placement and divided them into two groups. Roughly, half received a cardiac rehab and the online/smartphone-based program that recorded daily measurements such as weight, blood pressure, minutes of physical activity, and dietary habits. The app also provided patients with educational activities that taught them lifestyle behaviors to avoid further cardiac problems.
The other half of the control group received only cardiac rehab. On top of less likely readmittance after 90 days, researchers found that patients in the app group had great improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. Only 20 percent of the patients who attended cardiac rehab and used the app were readmitted to the hospital or visited the emergency department within 90 days, compared with 60 percent of those in the control group, researchers found.
"We wanted to see if offering patients a smartphone app, in addition to their cardiac rehab, would increase their ability to reduce their risk even further. We know that people use their mobile devices all day, and we hoped using it for cardiac rehab would help them in their recovery," Amir Lerman, M.D., Mayo Clinic cardiologist and senior study author, said in a statement.