Technology and self-care in cardiac patients

Elderly woman telemonitoring

Adequate self-care behaviour is vital for patients with chronic cardiac disease. These behaviours often include life style changes (e.g. exercise, diet) and symptom monitoring.

Interventions to help patients to care for themselves need to be tailored to specific patients and conventional methods such as patient education and counselling might not be suitable for all patients. Some patients might benefit more from a tailored home based computerized approach.

Different new technologies that are developed for other purposes might be applicable to use in increasing self-care in chronic cardiac patients. Currently several telemonitoring devices are tested in cardiac patients. These telemonitoring devices are often aimed at symptom monitoring and sometimes at increasing patients knowledge. However, it remains questionable how these devices really improve self-care of patients on the short and long run. At the same time other technologies might be suitable to address aspects of self-care in specific subpopulations. In a number of feasibility studies different technological solutions will be tested for suitability to improve self care in (cardiac) patients.

Currently two PhD students, Leonie Klompstra and Brynja Ingadottir, work in this research area. Leonie Klomsptra is involved in the HF-Wii study in which we test the feasibility and applicability of a Nintendo Wii game computer to use in heart Failure patients to increase their daily physical activity. Brynja Ingadottir  is developing and testing a serious game to educate surgical patients. Post-doc Naoko Kato has performed a survey in Sweden and Japan to describe the use of telemonitoring and measure perceptions of health care providers.

I am also co-applicant of the NordForsk funded study that is testing the added value of non invasive fluid monitoring and I am member in the steering committee of the SMILE study, that is testing the effects of non invasive impedance monitoring in heart failure patients.





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