LiSTNR podcast series ‘Beyond the Medicine Cabinet’ talks Cardiac Rehabilitation

Listnr podcast ‘Beyond the Medicine Cabinet’ host Zoë Callister-Hakewill recently spoke with  a Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinician and a patient based in Tasmania who are being helped by Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation solution. 

 

Clinic Nurse Consultant Cardiac Health and Rehab of Launceston General Hospital John Aitken explains that despite Cardiovascular Disease being Australia's biggest killer, the rates of attendance of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Australia are very low at around 20%.

Paul, a Cardiovascular Disease patient was referred by John to Cardihab's digital cardiac rehabilitation program after his second cardiac event, after a 200 day waitlist for a traditional program was considered too long.

Throughout the podcast Paul discusses the benefits of being able to do the program from home and the flexibility of managing program requirements around work/family commitments, as well as having the ability to use the app to intuitively keep track of medications, vital stats, and access educational content and resources as and when required, as being the key benefits to the digital program.  

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris speaks about the rapidly changing healthcare landscape and the impact of program's like Cardihab's Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

She highlights that while the modern approach to treating events and procedures associated with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) means a patient can be in and out of hospital within days, the recovery pathways are decades outdated and in need of reform. 

Ms Souris says the goal of Cardihab's digital cardiac rehabilitation program is to provide choice. "If someone really wants to participate in face-to-face rehab then give them that opportunity as they're going to get the most out of that, but for people still working or with family commitments give them the option to do a digital program and complete it from home in a way that fits into their life and is more likely to get outcomes." 

The vision is that digital cardiac rehabilitation will liberate the system from the current waitlist bottleneck, and give people access to the care they need when and where they need it.

It’s time to liberate the system with technology

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Our approach to CVD prevention must change or we will keep getting the same results.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is currently the most prevalent and costly burden to the healthcare system in Australia.   Data demonstrates that participation in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation programs significantly improves patient outcomes in second stage CVD and reduces the risk of readmission or mortality.  We now have access to sophisticated, quality, Digital Cardiovascular Rehabilitation (DCR) and support technology that would undoubtedly streamline traditional, labour-intensive processes and significantly improve outcomes, but uptake remains slow. Why?

Read more on Wild Health 

Australasian CXO Healthcare Cloud Summit

Cloud Summit 3

We recently attended the Cloud Healthcare Summit which had a lens on the value and need for the health industry and its governing bodies to prioritise resources, focus and financial support towards digital platforms and cloud based technology.

The Summit was an opportunity for thought leaders from across digital technology and healthcare sectors to come together to discuss the recent successes of acceleration into digital innovation, along with the challenges and obstacles that the industry continues to face despite demands for change.

Alongside representatives from all areas of primary and secondary healthcare and supporting industries, we were pleased to be part of robust discussions supporting the need for further development and systemic reform around expanding digital healthcare.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris was invited to speak about how the application of a cloud based, digital platform such as Cardihab is changing the game of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

We now have real world evidence to support the initial trials that show Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation solution can match or exceed outcomes of traditional face-to-face cardiac rehab.  This is an important outcome for patients that want and need more options, particularly those facing barriers to participation such as time or location. Digital platforms provide options that improve participation and adherence which are vital to improved outcomes.

However, there are many more funding, resourcing and industry based challenges that digital platforms face which need to be addressed in order to deliver the improved, secure, agile and available anywhere, anytime care that the community demands and the industry needs.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris presents: 'If we keep doing what we've always done we'll keep getting the same results'

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Men’s Health Week – An important reminder of the impact of CVD on Australian men

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Did you know that Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains Australia's biggest killer, particularly in men with 6.5% of Australian men suffering from the disease?

 This week is Men's Health Week (13 - 19 June) so it's a timely reminder for men to undergo any health checks and work towards a healthy, active lifestyle which is the best defense against heart disease.

Tips to help reduce the risk of CVD include:

  • Smoking cessation and avoidance. Smoking damages the blood vessels to your heart, brain and other parts of your body.  Quitting smoking will have significantly positive and rapid impact on health of your heart.
  • Reducing alcohol intake. Heavy drinking or binge drinking can increase your chances of developing heart disease.
  • Adopting a heart-healthy diet which is low in unhealthy fats, salt and added sugar, and rich in wholegrains, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats.  Aim to increase fruit and vegetable intake to 5 servings a day (around 2 and a half cups).
  • Staying active will not only reduce your risk, but increase energy, and reduce stress levels. Moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week is the optimal goal.  Keeping active also helps to control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight.

 

For those who have already experienced a devastating event such as a heart attack the chance of a recurrence is 5 - 7x greater than normal.  Evidence shows that participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) can have a huge impact on the chance of a recurrence, however up to 80% of those who should participate in CR do not.  If you or someone you know has been through a cardiac event, please reach out to your health professional for a referral into a Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program.

Cardihab can help facilitate Cardiac Rehabilitation programs anywhere, anytime using our SmartCR technology.  This means patients can focus on what's important and take control of their rehabilitation in ways that work for them.

 

Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

 

CVD impact on Australian men

This Men's Health Week we recognise the impact of CVD on men in Australia

 

References:

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government
  2. Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. No second chances: controlling risk in cardiovascular disease. Melbourne, Australia: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute; 2018.
  3. Heart Foundation. Key Stats Cardiovascular Disease.  
  4. Heart Foundation.  Are you at risk of Heart Disease.

Cardihab joins Mater and Advance Queensland Innovation Partnership

Mater Event_image

Cardihab joins Mater and Advance Queensland's Innovation Partnership event, highlighting its focus to connect and support innovative new technologies in healthcare.

Cardihab were invited to be part of the Advance Queensland and Mater Innovation Partnership Event this week.  As part of Mater's focus to become a leader in health and innovation, and to deliver new services that positively impact the health of its communities, Mater Private Hospital Townsville now provides Cardihab to its regional and remote based patients to help facilitate improved access to Cardiac Rehabilitation, and to help more patients recover from their cardiac events.

Regional and remote based patients often face huge obstacles in getting to a traditional cardiac rehabilitation centre which can be hours away from their home. Cardihab helps overcome these obstacles by making virtual programs of cardiac rehabilitation available anywhere, at any time.

The Mater and Advance Queensland initiative to connect and support innovative healthcare technologies, means that digital platforms such Cardihab have a strong commitment that our evidence based, high-quality, clinician-supported cardiac rehabilitation solution can be deployed as needed to those who might otherwise go without.

We look forward to our future collaborations with Mater and its partners, and making cardiac rehabilitation more accessible to the community of Townsville

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

We are excited to share that today the Herald Sun has reported on the Baker Institute’s independent evaluation of the Medibank Heart Health at Home program, which is of course, powered by Cardihab.

The article “Ringing up the Rehab” which appears on page 3, highlights some of the outstanding results of this program:

  • The study of 160 participants found their risk of hospital readmission for a heart-related issue during the 60 days post-op was reduced by 53 per cent, compared to those who didn’t undergo rehabilitation.
  • Nine-in-10 participants completed the program.
  • Patient’s diet and blood pressure improved, and exercise time more than doubled to 300 minutes a week.
  • The number of patients reporting anxiety or depression dropped from 27 per cent before the program to 18 per cent.
  • Equal representation of rural participants, reducing inequity.

Heart Health at Home participant, Briony Mattheeusen, is featured as a case study in the article. At only 39 years of age, Briony has undergone three heart surgeries in 5 years and describes herself as “gobsmacked” by the program’s success and the improvement in her recovery compared to her first two surgeries, when she didn’t undergo rehabilitation.

Briony is quoted as saying:

“After my second surgery I was demoralised, depressed, my mindset was shot. (The program) was a complete godsend, it was a breath of fresh air.”

“Here I am now, no medication, no doctor, no readmission,”

“I feel like I’ve got a new life again.”

Making a difference to the lives of patients such as Briony, as well as the outstanding results demonstrated by the Heart Health at Home program, are testament of the impact that Cardihab can make for cardiac patients.

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris joined radio presenter David Wood from Ultra106five to discuss the challenges associated with attending traditional cardiac rehabilitation and how Cardihab's digital platform is supporting clinicians to deliver the important continuity of care to patients, particularly through COVID disruptions.

Cardihab joined Ultra106five to help them highlight the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation for people living in Tasmania

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris joined radio presenter David Wood from Ultra106five to discuss the challenges associated with attending traditional cardiac rehabilitation and how Cardihab's digital platform is supporting clinicians to deliver the important continuity of care to patients, particularly through COVID disruptions.

For patients, travel and time constraints were noted as key barriers to participation in traditional cardiac rehabilitation, and currently participation rates are low with only 20% of eligible patients accessing programs. This means that 8 in 10 people are missing out on life changing and necessary care that could prevent a subsequent cardiac event, and even save lives.

With this in mind, Helen discussed results of a study recently published in JMIR that demonstrated a substantial increase in participation from 21% to 63% when our Cardihab platform was offered to patients that declined traditional cardiac rehab programs.

Tasmanians state-wide have a unique opportunity in that all hospitals within the Tasmanian Health Service have Cardihab as part of an initiative to increase access and participation in cardiac rehabilitation. Offering patients a choice of a digital program is a significant step towards improving participation rates and the associated benefits and outcomes.

You can listen to the full segment via this link: https://ultra106five.com/important-findings-cardiac-patients/

Read the full JMIR Cardio publication: The Impact of a Mobile App on Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Understanding Barriers to Success: Comparative Cohort Study

Contact Cardihab for more details.

2GB radio host Dr Ross Walker speaks with Helen Souris, CEO of Cardihab

Cardihab’s “game changing” increase in patient participation is discussed on Dr Ross Walker’s 2GB radio show

It was great for Cardihab to appear on Dr Ross Walker's Healthy Living 2GB radio show. As a cardiologist, Dr Walker has always said cardiac rehabilitation is a vital part of a patient’s recovery from cardiac events and recognises that participation rates are a key challenge to improving outcomes.

The focus of the segment was for Cardihab CEO Helen Souris to discuss the results of the recently published study in JMIR that demonstrated substantial increases in participation from 21% to 63% when our Cardihab platform was offered to participants that declined traditional cardiac rehab programs.

As Dr Walker described cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive supervised program of regular physical exercise, education, and medicine management supported by clinicians and Cardihab can enable patients to receive this comprehensive program in the convenience of their home.

You can listen to the full show podcast via this link: Healthy Living Full Show Podcast (Cardihab segment starts at 13:35min)

Read the full JMIR Cardio publication: The Impact of a Mobile App on Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Understanding Barriers to Success: Comparative Cohort Study

Contact Cardihab for more details.

JMIR Publication

Clinical study finds that offering digital health platform Cardihab increases participation in cardiac rehabilitation

A clinical study of patients with cardiovascular disease by Queensland Cardiovascular Group has found that offering a digital health platform, Cardihab, substantially improved participation rates in cardiac rehabilitation.

The findings were published in cardiovascular medicine journal JMIR Cardio and revealed that participation in cardiac rehabilitation improved from 21% to 63% when app-based cardiac rehabilitation (SmartCR) was offered as an alternative in addition to a conventional in-person program.

Cardihab provides a digital platform and patient apps (SmartCR) that facilitate the virtual delivery of cardiac rehabilitation and chronic disease management programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease.

The study involved 204 patients who were offered cardiac rehabilitation post angioplasty.

Cohort 1 comprised 99 patients who were offered conventional cardiac rehabilitation only. Cohort 2 comprised 105 patients who were offered Cardihab as an alternative if they declined conventional cardiac rehabilitation.

Patients in each cohort were monitored throughout a 6-week cardiac rehabilitation program, and participation rates were compared for both groups.

Dr John T Rivers, director of the Queensland Cardiovascular Group and lead author, said that cardiac rehabilitation was recommended and improved outcomes for patients, but poor patient uptake remained a challenge.

 

“The emphasis on continued close involvement by the clinical team was a key success factor. The inclusion of digital health should be considered as another tool in program delivery. Cardiac rehabilitation reduces cardiovascular mortality and increase quality of life, but many people don’t participate because of geographic distance or lack of transport, time constraints as well as cultural, cost and psychological barriers. The improved uptake of cardiac rehabilitation following the addition of SmartCR suggests that a significant number of patients will benefit from the convenience and flexibility of a remotely delivered virtual program. The low readmission rates were also an encouraging outcome that warrants further exploration.” [Dr Rivers]

 

Helen Souris, Cardihab’s chief executive officer, said that Cardihab enables patients to participate in a care plan that fits within their life.

The structured yet personalized program means that patients are getting high-quality care, while completing a specific program tailored to their individual needs.

 

“Cardihab provides an important option to help overcome barriers to participation in conventional in-person cardiac rehabilitation programs. Patients do not have to travel long distances to attend a program – they complete it from home while under clinical supervision. Cardihab also helps fit in with peoples’ busy work schedules and family commitments, and alleviates cost and time constraints associated with traditional programs. It has been a critical alternative particularly during COVID-19 whereby significant disruptions to traditional programs have been experienced Australia wide, and social distancing requirements presented further barriers to participation.”[Ms Souris]

 

Other key insights

  • App-based cardiac rehabilitation offered to those declining conventional cardiac rehabilitation can improve participation rates;
    • The study found that providing the additional option of Cardihab was associated with an increase of 42% in overall cardiac rehabilitation participation;
  • Participation in conventional in-person cardiac rehabilitation in Cohort 1 was 21% while that with the added option of Cardihab in Cohort 2 was 63%;
  • Approximately 23% of patients in Cohort 2 who declined any cardiac rehabilitation program identified technology issues as the reason why they declined use of the digital platform. Approximately 26% did not participate in either conventional or digital cardiac rehabilitation because they were scheduled for further cardiac procedures. Others declined because of psychosocial issues, frailty or comorbidities, and other reasons;
  • This study was not powered to address differences in readmission rates, but the very low rate of 4% observed for app-based cardiac rehabilitation compared to that in other groups is hypothesis-generating.
  • Readmission after major cardiac events is a significant and costly problem [1], with 30-day rates estimated between 6%-27% and 12-month rates estimated at 20%-30%.
References:
[1] Chew DP, Scott IA, Cullen L, et al. National Heart Foundation of Australia & Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand: Australian clinical guidelines for the management of acute coronary syndromes. Heart Lung Circ 2016Sep;25(9):895-951. PMID: 27476580, DOI: 10.1016/j.hlc.2016.06.789.
[2] Janssen V, De Gucht V, Dusseldorp E. Lifestyle modification programmes for patients with coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Eur J Prev Cardiol 2013 Aug;20(4):620-640. PMID: 23022703, DOI: 10.1177/2047487312462824.
A year of change, letter from the CEO

Digitising Cardiac Care: A year of change – more for the better

Our inspiration and motivation comes from the people whose lives we help change.

We all hoped we would be rejoicing a farewell to the pandemic and its associated hardships, in our end of year reflections. It has been a challenging year. But knowing our solution is enabling vulnerable people to stay connected to quality health care, despite the disruptions, is a good feeling. Our inspiration and motivation comes from the people whose lives we are changing.

Letter from the CEO

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

The context in which Reinhold Niebuhr delivered his famous, soulful Serenity Prayer more than 70 years ago, is different to the one I write now. But it speaks to me very clearly as the CEO of an innovative technology start-up in the healthcare industry, as if it were written only yesterday.

 

"Improving access to quality care is something we can change."

 

Access to care, from the perspective of innovation, has two distinct parts:

Treatment and prevention through digital health

Firstly, treatment to improve and/or save the lives of existing cardiac patients. And secondly, proactively improving the quality of life of people, to prevent the likelihood of them becoming patients in the future.


Enabling change through digital health

The motivation for digital health innovation is not about technology itself. It is about people.

In striving to deliver meaningful improvements for patients, there are important considerations surrounding the practices which underpin the delivery methodology and the burdens faced by healthcare practitioners who deliver care.

Technology has made incredible differences to how people live and procure goods and services. It is now dramatically improving the way healthcare is delivered and received.

Patients today are better informed and engaged with their own health and the technology options available. The digitisation of healthcare has also led to higher expectations.

Telehealth consultations are now commonplace and recent announcements regarding permanent Medicare Benefits Schedule funding have secured its future in Australia.

However, there is much more that needs to be done to support the adoption of validated digital health solutions and to ensure products such as Cardihab reach their full potential in delivering improvements in chronic disease management and post event cardiac care.


Digital health implementation requires courage and persistence

We know that technology in healthcare is a positive thing. Healthcare professionals and system administrators know it as well.

We also know that healthcare professionals take continuous improvement seriously. They approach change cautiously and invest time in professional development.

 

"It takes time to upskill, to change habits, to learn new technology, new delivery methodology."

 

And one thing no healthcare professional can claim to have in surfeit, especially during the pandemic, is time.


Helping healthcare professionals embrace digital health change

A key priority for any digital health company, is identifying ways to better support change so that innovation can be more efficiently and more seamlessly integrated into the delivery of care.

While there is no one all-encompassing answer to this conundrum, two of our key drivers for change are demonstrating the impact on patients in treatment and prevention and the improvements in clinical workflows for healthcare professionals. Most importantly we recognise the importance of collaboration and partnerships to achieve real change. 


Celebrating the change we are making

The burdens of the pandemic have been lightened thanks to the positive experiences of our customers and their patients, who have championed change in the way they deliver and receive care.

Their stories about how they felt supported and motivated through the use of our technology while the world around them was thrown into chaos, was inspirational. It gave us courage to explore even greater goals.

Our wisdom this year has grown, as has our resolve to support and collaborate with the pioneers of change in the health system who are embracing digital health.

We will observe the things we cannot change with patience, celebrate the things we can, and implement positive change with relish.

On behalf of our team at Cardihab, we wish everyone a restful and rejuvenating festive season, and a bright and fresh new year filled with opportunity, happiness and wisdom.

All the best, Helen

CEO, Cardihab