The Australian features Cardihab and Medibank project to maintain quality CR during pandemic.

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The Australian recently highlighted how Medibank is using Cardihab's remote digital cardiac rehabilitation solution to enable more people to access cardiac rehab during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medibank’s cardiac rehabilitation program is experiencing an increase in patient referrals during COVID-19. Cardihab allows them to provide personalised remotely delivered one to one support to help prevent a second serious cardiac event.

The Medibank Heart Health at Home program is one of the first personalised, fully telehealth-delivered cardiac rehabilitation services in Australia, making it more easily accessible to our customers.

Patients with a chronic health condition have a higher risk of suffering more severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19, so access to care in their home is crucial.

The Australian featured the story of 71-year-old Allen Parsons, who lives just outside the Queensland regional town of Toowoomba, had his second heart attack in March. He underwent surgery to have stents inserted in his arteries.

Mr Parsons was referred by his local hospital to the Heart Health at Home program to assist in his recovery.

“I didn’t fit the normal heart attack mould as I am active, not overweight and don’t drink much alcohol, but I wanted to ensure I gave myself the best chance to prevent a third heart attack,” he said.

“The program has been a helpful tool in my recovery, with my nurse providing me with advice and support on changes I need to make to my diet and exercise that will help to strengthen my heart muscles following the surgery.

“It has given me the flexibility to participate in the program because no matter whether I am working in Brisbane or a regional town, it is delivered remotely over the telephone at a time that suits me.”

Cardiovascular disease is currently the nation’s leading cause of death, with an estimated 1 in 6 Australians living with the disease.

The cardiac rehabilitation rate for Medibank’s rural customers is less than half that of those who live in metro areas.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris said Cardihab was very proud to be able to support continuity of cardiac rehabilitation services during COVID restrictions and beyond.

"Cardiac rehabilitation has the potential to significantly reduce the occurrence future cardiac events. As many cardiac patients are currently not able to access traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs, and/or afraid to seek medical advice due to fear of COVID exposure, clinically proven remote programs like Cardihab can make a demonstrable difference to patients and deliver improved outcomes."