As previously announced, we have started this project to evaluate innovative disease management tools in heart failure (HF) with the objective of bringing insights and further recommendations for decision-makers. You can follow this link to find out more in our blog about digital health strategy.
We started the project by looking at current HF digital solutions that aim to support the management of this disease. In terms of the scope of this project, we have excluded solutions that are only intended for temporary use during hospitalization, solutions that merely track general symptoms without any link to HF-related actions and heart assist devices.
The theme for these solutions is to provide an intelligent medical platform where patients could be actively engaged, integrated data could be tracked and transmitted between patients and caregivers (regardless of settings) and corresponding actions would be triggered proactively. At the centre of the process, patients use their smartphones or tablets as a disease management portal that syncs with implanted sensors, wearables, blood pressure cuffs, weight scales or other devices to track different personal data. Data reports or alerts would then be sent not only to the patients, but also frequently to their caregivers. Actions like communications or treatment adjustment can then be taken accordingly. Patients may use the platforms to gain more knowledge about the disease, follow the training guide or share their experiences with peers (see Fig 1 below).
Fig 1. A summary of the major components combined in different settings related to the disease management.
The aim of the different solutions can be categorized in the following areas:
- Providing information to caregivers, either enabling them to review data or a smart system that informs the caregiver when there is need for action.
- Relieving the symptoms or preventing deterioration of the disease.
- Educating and supporting the patients to make behavioural changes.
- Enhancing communication between patient and caregiver.
If you are interested to engage in the project, please join this LinkedIn group (Innovative Tools in Heart Failure Management).
You can also follow this link for an overview of the solutions we have found in heart failure so far: Disease Management tools in Heart Failure.