The PERCEIVE study is aimed at investigating how exercise might be able to help improve symptoms for those suffering from long COVID. The Cardihab digital health solution SmartCR is currently in use in this study.
Many of those living with long COVID suffer from compromised exercise capacity, and in some instances periods of depression.
The pilot study has found that tailored exercise programs can be effective for those with a reduced capacity for exercise as a result of their condition, with reports of a 15 per cent increase in the amount of exercise participants were able to do.
Cardiologist and principal PERCEIVE study investigator Prof Tom Marwick is encouraged by the results.
"It's not a cure for all of the symptoms of long COVID but there are people who get significant benefit from this, and what we best need to understand is who is it that most benefits and how best to deliver it for them."
If you are interested in participating in the study, or would like to learn more click here.
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
What a year!
It is hard to believe the year end is upon us in what seems like a flash, and how much we have delivered in the tail end of the year as we resume face-to-face life. The general feeling from the people we speak with is that they are tired and in the same breath looking forward to the new year. What is most important is that people are optimistic about the future and focused on taking the necessary time out to re-energise and start the new year brighter and with resolve to have a strong and positive impact in 2023.
Since its inception Cardihab has been paving the way for Digital Cardiac Rehabilitation to become a core part of clinician workflows so that more patients have a better road to recovery post cardiac event and/or procedure.
This year we have celebrated numerous milestone achievements and heard heartening accounts from patients and clinicians who have benefited from our programs. A new publication in JMIR arrived earlier in the year, reinforcing the impact we can have on improving patient uptake, and signaling important insights for hospital readmission rate reductions. New real world evidence was also presented at a range of scientific congresses in Australia and the US, with uptake in local media and publications pending.
We were thrilled to begin our journey in the inaugural ANDHealth+ program, and initiated our collaboration with Queensland Cardiovascular Group’s Atrial Fibrillation Institute. With thanks to funding from the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA), we began our journey towards a Heart Failure specific digital therapeutic in partnership with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.
As we come to the end of 2022 I am both humbled and proud to be part of the Cardihab mission and thankful for the wonderful team of passionate and dedicated people that I work with each and every day. We often reflect on the impact we are making with people that work tirelessly on improving access to cardiac rehabilitation across Australia.
In collaboration with customers, partners, suppliers and through the important support from our investors and grant funding, the opportunities we are creating will not only propel Cardihab’s impact for patients, but elevate the capabilities within the Australian ecosystem to deliver quality digital therapeutics that change the way we manage cardiovascular disease in Australia.
On behalf of the Cardihab team I would like to sincerely thank you all for your support and commitment throughout the year. We wish you a happy and safe Christmas, and an energised and prosperous New Year.
All the best,
The PERCEIVE study—run by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and powered by Cardihab— looks to understand whether COVID-19 causes damage to the heart and impacts functional capacity. It also aims to understand if best practice management (e.g. heart medication or exercise training) can restore function.
As reported on 9 News, recent outcomes of the study have shown that the significant reduction in capacity following a bout of COVID-19 is likely due to deconditioning, rather than structural heart damage, and therefore exercise rehabilitation is a recommended course of treatment.
While findings to date have provided valuable insights into the long term effects of COVID, researchers are keen to broaden the study and are inviting further participants to join.
Interested parties who have had COVID-19 and are over the age of 45 are invited to participate in the six month study with screening appointments available at specialist clinics in Melbourne and Hobart, as well as Sydney in the coming months.
Cardihab is proud to be enabling home-based, digital cardiac rehabilitation to remote and regional patients recovering from heart events through our partnership with Mater Private Hospital Townsville.
Mater Clinical Exercise Physiologist Shaun Whiley and Mater Private Hospital Townsville Executive Officer Steph Barwick recently spoke to Channel 7 Townsville about the successful initial uptake of the Cardihab program with patients from North Queensland that otherwise may not have had an opportunity to complete a program.
“So far we’ve had a number of patients complete the program and have said they loved the fact that they were able to do the program, and were given the opportunity. It can be quite confronting (for patients) going home to a rural area after having gone through a cardiac event and not knowing where to go, what is their exercise capacity, so it's really been fulfilling to get them back to normal function,” said Shaun.
North Queensland-based cane farmer and Mater patient Stephen Fabbro discussed his experience using the Cardihab digital Cardiac Rehabilitation platform in helping him to manage a program post heart surgery that he otherwise would not have been able to do due to time constraints and the long distance to the Townsville-based rehab centre.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a significant health problem in rural Australia with rural populations experiencing a 20-30% higher CVD prevalence¹. Offering effective interventions that suit the needs of the patient helps to bridge the gap in care that exists.
Cardihab CEO Helen Souris says, "we're thrilled that Cardihab has been integrated into the Mater’s cardiac rehabilitation program and so well received by patients in the area."
Read more at Mater News.
- Estimating the Return on Investment of a Randomised Controlled Trial on Telehealth-based Medical Nutrition Intervention in Rural and Regional Australia - Associate Professor Haitham Tuffaha & Professor Stephen Birch University of Queensland
Cardihab CEO Helen Souris recently spoke to Yolanda Redrup, an award-winning senior journalist from The Australian Financial Review to discuss the impact of the Australian investment landscape on digital health startups. They discussed how things need to change in order to strengthen the Australian ecosystem and capital support to compete with other markets.
According to ANDHealth CEO Bronwyn Le Grice, where the US has significant investment funding pools dedicated to accelerating emerging digital organisations and supporting digital growth, Australia’s funding landscape focuses more toward mature organisations with little support for start-ups at the beginning of the journey. This can lead to organisations moving their ideas and talent offshore to bigger markets that can offer support.
Helen says there is a gap in understanding by local investors that often limits investment, forcing digital health and technology entrepreneurs to look beyond their backyard for scale support.
“There’s lots of seed funding, and seemingly a lot of money for $20 million rounds, but when you’re a start-up that needs to scale up and need to have two to three years of runway to execute to deliver results, that’s where it’s hard.”
She says urgent discussions need to be had around building sustainable investment models that can support and maintain the growth of the Australian digital health ecosystem and nurture innovation to ensure the future viability of Australia’s role in the sector. There is also strong support for government-led policy changes and reimbursement that enable evidence-based digital health innovation to transform our health system.
Australians with heart failure are set to benefit from innovative technology designed to help them take charge of their condition and reduce their risk of hospitalisation.
In partnership with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Cardihab has received $740,153 in matched funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA), to codesign a new technology-enabled program to improve the clinical management of people living with heart failure.
Cardihab Chief Executive Officer, Helen Souris, is proud to collaborate on this important solution that aims to help improve health outcomes and quality of life for people living with heart failure.
Heart failure is a condition where the heart isn’t pumping blood to the body as well as it should, meaning muscles and organs don’t receive the oxygen and nutrients as they need. This causes symptoms such as tiredness, dizziness, fluid build-up and shortness of breath, which may result in hospitalisation.
Approximately 511,000 Australians are currently living with heart failure and more than 73,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Cardiomyopathies – or heart muscle diseases – cause approximately half of all heart failure cases, with the remainder due to conditions where the heart is starved of oxygen due to reduced blood supply (ischaemic heart disease).
Following a first hospital admission for heart failure, 75% of people are readmitted within 12 months and 33% die during that period. This is often the result of not adhering to medication or care plans and failing to recognise symptoms that indicate deterioration. Poor health literacy, being elderly, frail, or from a culturally diverse background, all increase this likelihood.
With funding from the TTRA program and the support of partners, Cardihab will develop a digitally enabled HF management program - the SmartHF™ program - to improve the clinical management of people with heart failure in the community. It will provide tailored and individualised support for people living with heart failure and will be designed to address current barriers to effective healthcare delivery.
The project, Getting to the Heart of It: Improving Heart Failure Outcomes with the SmartHF program, will draw on the expertise of collaborating partners including our lead partner the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research/La Trobe University, Tasmanian Health Service and Northern Health in the codesign of Smart-HF.
Baker Institute cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher, Professor Tom Marwick, sees heart failure patients regularly in his clinics.
He says this innovative program aims to help address the extremely high rates of hospital readmissions and to reduce the likelihood of complications developing which contribute to significant healthcare costs and have an enormous impact on a person’s quality of life.
An expert in digital health technology, Professor Brian Oldenburg from La Trobe University and the Baker Institute says digital technology has the ability to improve healthcare significantly and to make it more accessible and flexible, and it has been pivotal in enhancing care and outcomes for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Similar to Cardihab’s existing TGA-registered SmartCR™ solution for digital cardiac rehabilitation, this program will be delivered using digital technologies such as mobile apps and a secure clinician portal. This virtual delivery using digital technology has been demonstrated to address the geographical divide by providing accessible support to people in regional and rural communities, who may otherwise not have access to heart failure services.
2 Chen et al. Snapshot of heart failure in Australia. 2017. Melbourne, Australia: Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research.
3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart failure and cardiomyopathy hospitalisations (principal diagnosis), by age and sex, 2018-19. 2021.
4 Robertson et al. The health services burden of heart failure: an analysis using linked population health data-sets. BMC health services research 2012; 12: 1-11.
“Give people what they want, or what they need, and they’re more likely to adhere to the program and get the results they need.” — Cardihab CEO Helen Souris
Cardihab CEO Helen Souris recently spoke to Talking Health Tech about all things Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) and the significant impact it could have on reducing the burden of Cardiovascular Disease on the healthcare system—if only people could get access to a program that would work for their lifestyle.
Cardiovascular Disease costs Australia around a billion dollars every month¹, with over 1.1 million hospitalisations being the main contributor to this cost. Many of these readmissions would be avoidable and would save the country millions² if patients had access to high-quality, evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation which is recognised to improve outcomes.³
Programs such as the digital cardiac rehabilitation program developed and provided by Cardihab allow those patients who—for a broad range of reasons cannot participate in face-to-face programs—the flexibility to participate in a clinically validated and clinician-run program that is individualised to their needs and available on demand at a time and place that suits them is the key.
Currently up to 80%³ of patients who should be participating in CR do not due to reasons including a lack of referral, waitlist bottleneck, distance, travel restrictions, time constraints, social and cultural barriers - the list goes on. These and many other barriers could be overcome with a high-quality digital solution, still delivered by a clinician but available on demand at a time and place that suits them.
While there is recognition that digital is not going to be the solution for all, it's a modality that many patients want and need. Helen highlights that more work needs to be done to ensure it is ingrained and embedded into the way that healthcare is delivered, not perceived as an extra or beyond what usual care is considered to be. Through this shift in delivery mindset statistics can be influenced significantly, and numbers like 80% non-participation rates could be changed.
So the secret sauce to improving CR participation and outcomes we believe is providing options of modalities that fit with the needs of the patient, and this is something Cardihab is working to help deliver.
- Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. No second chances: controlling risk in cardiovascular disease. Melbourne, Australia: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute; 2018. https://baker.edu.au/-/media/documents/impact/baker-institute_no-second-chances.pdf
- Heart Foundation, Data and Evaluation Unit. Unpublished report 2015 via Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association
- 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
We are proud to announce our partnership with the Atrial Fibrillation Institute and Queensland Cardiovascular Group aimed a improving health outcomes for patients with Atrial Fibrillation.
A heart condition which affects approximately 500,000 Australians, Atrial Fibrillation (AF) causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. AF greatly increases the risk of stroke, so early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in changing health outcomes.
The partnership aims to deliver a technology based solution for this complex heart condition which will provide a much needed care pathway for patients while also supporting the clinicians and physicians treating them.
We look forward to working with the innovative team at the Atrial Fibrillation Institute to build solutions that address the needs of those living with AF.