Mobile apps

Mobile health apps can help patients manage HF – Healio


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Sivakumar B, et al. P1637. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Sivakumar reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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Patients saw several benefits to using mobile health apps for HF management, according to study results presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

“Despite its importance, a large proportion of heart failure patients are nonadherent to diet, significantly increasing the risk of heart failure morbidity and mortality,” Bridve Sivakumar BHSc, PhD student at Ontario Tech University, Canada, said during the presentation. “Mobile health applications show promise in supporting patients with self-management and adherence to diet and medical therapies by increasing disease-specific knowledge and facilitating behavior change through education and monitoring.”

Researchers conducted a qualitative descriptive study among adult patients with HF who used smartphone/tablet and were on stable medical therapy without recent hospital admission to determine patients’ needs, motivations and challenges regarding mobile app use for the support of HF management. Using a 10-question interview guide informed by the diffusion of innovation theory, they conducted focus group interviews with patients, then two researchers independently coded transcripts and examined using content analysis.

Sivakumar reported six main themes emerged from the interviews and reflected patient views of HF mobile apps:

  • Apps could provide patient support via access to HF education on symptoms, medication, diet and exercise as well as self-monitoring.
  • Apps facilitated connection and communication with health care providers and other patients.
  • Patients favored apps featuring medication reminders and visuals/graphs to show changes in HF symptoms.
  • Many patients already used technology for communication and social media to monitor health and daily living.
  • Some patients reported adopting the latest technology, whereas others preferred to wait.
  • Factors like cost, accessibility and being inept with technology impacted their use.

“Overall, the study found that patients perceived several benefits to using mobile health apps for HF management. These findings can inform effective development and implementation of apps,” Sivakumar said. “Capitalizing on the opportunities apps provide can maximize their use by patients to support their adherence to diet and medical therapies and improve heart failure outcomes.”


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