Cardiologist Seth Martin discusses the implementation of mobile health technology for cardiac rehabilitation patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
mhm. So when co vid began, we were abruptly presented with the challenge of lack of access to cardiac rehab. Because cardiac rehab is dependent on our patients coming into the centers, the centre's closed just like our clinics closed. And now all of a sudden, we have our patients who just had a heart attack or heart surgery or so forth, and they can't access this important medical treatment. This, though, was a problem before the pandemic. 20% about a patient's Onley or participate in cardiac rehab before the pandemic. Now it becomes even worse is the pandemic hits? And this really pushes us to think about ways to adapt, to deliver cardiac rehab in a different way. So in order to address the problem before us, we had to adapt and we were energized at Hopkins. And one of the beautiful things is being able to work with such diverse talent and expertise. And so I was so grateful to be able to come together as part of a multidisciplinary team including cardiologists, nurses, exercise physiologists, engineers and so forth to figure out how we can bring the best of technology and our clinical know how and workflow, um, together with the input of our patients to build a solution that was adaptable so that we could deliver our cardiac rehab services at home in a digital format that could meet the needs of our patients during this critical time of the peon pandemic. But also beyond some of the benefits of home based digital virtual rehab are the same the benefits that we'd expect from traditional cardiac rehab, which is to improve patient outcomes, including living longer, staying out of the hospital and leading a healthier quality of life. Cardiac rehab helps us control our blood pressure and cholesterol and so forth, and this leads to better patient outcomes. But the benefits specifically of a home based virtual format would be those that relate more to the convenience, the experience of it being able to increase the access to this so more people can participate. So at a sort of population public health level, we would expect the benefits to be that we can just get this organized prevention program to more people who can see again those benefits of longevity and better patient outcomes mhm. In this process, there are a lot of lessons learned just toe talk through some of this. This is a viable way to deliver cardiac rehab and one that our patients are interested in that they want. And it can really open up access to cardiac rehab services. Um, it's really important. We see that we listen to the feedback of our patients and their different experiences there. Different needs. One lesson learned is that this can't be a one size fits all process. We need to develop tailored experiences that still have the core components but deliver those comport components in a personalized way so that patients can engage with it. So we really focus on what's called human centered design methodology, meaning that we really work closely with our patients. Is the end users to co I d eight and co create as we develop our program further and we see a lot of opportunity to continue Thio continue to improve. Andi. This is really opening up access to our patients who who are coming from diverse backgrounds who live far away from the hospital. Ondas, part of a broader construct of telemedicine and mobile health