Many Queensland patients will soon have access to Cardihab’s Digital Cardiac Rehabilitation program thanks to grant funding support of $250,000 from the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Advance Queensland.
Cardihab’s virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation platform, which is currently being used by Mater Private Hospital Townsville patients, will be further deployed throughout Mater’s extensive Queensland hospital networks to improve efficiencies and address accessibility issues that have long plagued many regions of Australia in relation to critical healthcare needs, in particular Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) treatment and ongoing management.
The funding will go towards the development of the project titled: Delivering Equitable Access Through Digital Health Innovation | Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation For Queensland Regional And Remote Communities Program. The project will see the Mater Private Hospital Townsville Cardiac Rehabilitation team become the central hub for delivery of the virtual CR program and will service the entire state of Queensland with referrals from Mater Brisbane, Mater Rockhampton, Mater Mackay and Mater Bundaberg.
The Cardihab program enables people from rural and remote communities to recover from cardiac procedures or events from the comfort of home, while receiving quality virtual cardiac rehabilitation care under the guidance of Mater Private Hospital Townsville clinicians.
As a leading cause of morbidity and mortality nationally, and with a rising cost to the Australian healthcare system of over $1 billion per month¹, the urgency to develop efficient and effective care solutions for people living with cardiovascular disease is significant.
Cardiac Rehabilitation programs provide long-term behavioral strategies that are critical to the management of cardiovascular disease. Despite its proven effectiveness, attendance rates are persistently low with only 10-30% of eligible people attending traditional facility-based programs².
With Queensland listed at number 2 on the Heart Foundation national heart disease geographic hotspots ranking, improving access to cardiac rehabilitation is an urgent statewide imperative with regional and rural communities identified as the greatest at need.
Mater Group CEO Peter Steer spoke about their commitment to innovation in providing quality care.
“Mater is at the forefront of the wave of innovation that is changing the way healthcare providers work.
We can now reach and support patients in the most remote parts of our state through new virtual services, providing world class healthcare for all.”
Mater Private Hospital Townsville is the largest private cardiac facility north of Brisbane and will use the Cardihab digital therapeutic solution and apps to provide cardiac rehabilitation to 300 public and private patients across the state over the next 12 months.
Cardihab CEO Helen Souris says, “we are proud to be working with the visionary leaders and healthcare teams at the Mater, who understand the vital need for digitally enabled care, to overcome the challenges of traditional centre-based models, particularly in regional areas.”
“Our virtual care hub will lead the way in enabling digital care to become a scalable and sustainable modality that delivers improvements in access to care and outcomes for patients and communities.
We are grateful to have the support of the Queensland Government and Advance Queensland for this collaboration.”
The initiative is part of the Queensland Government’s commitment of $142 million towards the Advance Queensland Innovation for a Future Economy 2022-2032 roadmap aimed at driving innovation, entrepreneurship and jobs.
1. Assessing the quality of cardiac rehabilitation programs by measuring adherence to the Australian quality indicators. C. M. Astley1*, A. Beleigoli1 , R. Tavella2,3, J. Hendriks1,4, C. Gallagher4 , R. Tirimacco5 , G. Wilson5 , T. Barry5 and R. A. Clark1; March 2021.
2. Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Scientific Statement From the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology. Randal J. Thomas, Alexis L. Beatty, Theresa M. Beckie, LaPrincess C. Brewer, Todd M. Brown, Daniel E. Forman, Barry A. Franklin, Steven J. Keteyian, Dalane W. Kitzman, Judith G. Regensteiner, Bonnie K. Sanderson and Mary A. Whooley.
Pulse+IT enews features Cardihab’s virtual cardiac rehab program being rolled out throughout North Queensland through the Mater Health network.
Rural and remote areas of Australia, and in particular Queensland, are often the hardest hit when it comes to healthcare accessibility and Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) programs which are proven to improve outcomes for those who have had a heart procedure or event are no exception. Difficulty accessing traditional clinic-based programs due to distance, work or family commitments, or long wait lists keep attendance at CR programs disappointingly low with up to 80% of those who should participate missing out.
“It’s a real area of crisis. There are massive bottlenecks of people who can’t get access, but this [virtual program] works because people can do rehab from home using the app and telehealth,” says Cardihab CEO Helen Souris.
Ms Souris suggests this should be a nationwide standard of care but more government funding is required.
Read the full article in Pulse+IT
Thanks to a partnership between Cardihab and Mater Private Hospital Townsville, Mackay residents like Sharon Nuttall are now enjoying the benefits of Cardihab’s clinically validated digital cardiac rehabilitation program designed to help people who have had a cardiac event or procedure with recovery.
Prior to the Cardihab program becoming available, participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation in the region was low according to Mater Private Hospital Townsville Exercise Physiologist Shaun Whiley. Mr Whiley worked with the Mater Allied Health team and Cardihab to introduce the program, which has been getting great feedback from participants.
“Rehabilitation is vitally important, not only because research suggests that those who do not rehabilitate following heart procedures have a higher chance of being rehospitalised, but so these people can return to their normal lives: we are from a region where everyone is very physical and social in work, social and family settings.”
“Our vision was exactly this - to make Cardiac Rehabilitation accessible to everyone, no matter where they are. Regional and remote Australians are heavily impacted by Cardiovascular Disease but there is a huge gap in access to care in these regions. Through our partnership with Mater Private Hospital Townsville we are happy to be able to help meet this need for improved access to healthcare” said Cardihab CEO Helen Souris.
Cardihab is proud to be working alongside the Mater Private Hospital Townsville team to deliver interventions to help patients manage their cardiac health and recovery in ways that work for them.
Read the full article in the Mackay and Whitsunday Life