New technologies play a fundamental role in healthcare. From the importance of understanding the patient and doctor’s journey to the proper use of data and devices, science finds new ways to improve the quality and life expectancy of patients. How can telemedicine help with heart disease prevention?
The use of innovative technologies to treat chronic illnesses is on the rise. According to a Statista survey, 97% of health care providers in Spain are adopting telehealth services and solution management to help patients with chronic conditions. This represents the highest percentage in Europe, whose podium is completed by Italy with 86%, followed by Nordic countries with 82%.
Technology, in all its forms, is becoming increasingly relevant in both understanding the patient and the physician’s journey. Knowing the state in which these players are, it helps us in providing precise, customized solutions that address their particular needs.
In this equation, in which devices (such as wearables, tablets, or smartphones) and touchpoints (virtual or face-to-face medical visits, treatments) are combined, the data acquired plays a fundamental role in achieving success.
The relevance of this new era of technology for healthcare has been discussed, written, and published extensively. However, despite the significant progress made, the contribution of new approaches and methodologies is still in its infancy: there is still much more to be done.
Technology for the heart
Heart failure is a serious medical condition in which the heart’s capacity to blood and hence provide oxygen is hampered.
According to the Favaloro Foundation, it affects over 800 thousand individuals in Argentina, and over 26 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is also estimated that individuals over 40 years of age have a 1 in 5 chance of acquiring this disease, while adults over 70 years of age have a 10% chance of developing it.
A major issue with heart failure is that its symptoms (tiredness, shortness of breath, and a feeling of suffocation, among others) are often mistaken with those of other conditions. As a result, the diagnosis may come late, after the patient has already had significant decompensation.
Telemonitoring is particularly important in the case of heart failure since individuals can communicate information about their health condition with specialists, such as their heart rate and blood pressure.
According to research by the UK Department of Health, ensuring effective monitoring between patients and physicians reduces emergency and mortality rates by up to 45%. Prevention has become a “business” in other latitudes as well. According to Statista, eHealth Heart Failure technologies in Spain are predicted to reach a market volume of 16 million euros in 2022 with an annual growth rate of 7.1%.
Pulse is at the forefront of HF prevention
Faced with these challenges, an Argentine company is developing Pulse, a digital tool for detecting heart failure early.
Cardiology experts identified the criteria in order to structure this technology, which can be used to make a rapid and accurate first diagnosis of individuals with symptoms that are consistent with heart failure.
The three key elements of Pulse are:
The situations in which this tool should be used and the factors that should be assessed to obtain a first diagnostic were specified through research carried out to understand the difficulties of primary care physicians and cardiologists. The best time to use it and the characteristics of the patients were also established.
The tool has a simple and intuitive UX, it examines critical factors that assist the prediction of heart failure -nothing more, nothing less- and it provides an initial diagnostic in 30 seconds. Furthermore, the primary care physician does not need to fill up the data in the application; instead, an assistant under his supervision can do so, reducing the workload of these experts.
Following the diagnosis, the next steps are suggested, which include advice on healthy living to improve the condition, such as eliminating particular foods, learning new healthy habits, and so on, in addition to recommending a visit to a specialized doctor.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that it’s a tool with a lot of room for development, particularly in two areas: integration with wearable devices making it easier for patients to get real-time data, and integration with Big Data and machine learning to proactively obtain diagnoses and anticipate the detection of heart failure.
Big data, privacy and machine learning
The benefits of collecting patient data and interconnecting it with one another are immense. Both for each individual case, including offering individualized attention and treatments, but also for the greater good. The data will be captured, analyzed, and shared, allowing for the construction of new information bases that will serve to prevent and treat cardiac disease. Furthermore, all of this will be done anonymously, without compromising anyone’s privacy.
At Multiplica we have experience in developing health-care solutions. In addition, we have developed some articles of interest such as Playing to Win: How Gaming Enhances Medical Treatments, and Data interoperability, key for Health 4.0.
If you want to know more about how we can enhance the experience of patients and doctors, contact Alex Ruiz, Health Industry Global Head at Multiplica.