E-Health Device Helps Patients Manage Heart Disease
By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 May 2017
Image: A simple tablet device helps HF patients improve treatment (Photo courtesy of Careligo).
A novel tablet device attached to a weighing scale provides patients with heart failure (HF) education, registers body weight and symptoms, and assists treatment.
The OPTILOGG tablet device, a product of Careligo is a pre-programmed tool designed to detect HF deterioration and help treat it by titrating diuretics dosage according to weight. If the patient’s weight gain is above a pre-determined range, they are instructed to contact the HF clinic. Patients can use OPTILOGG as required, without pushing any buttons; a typical weighing session lasting less than 30 seconds a day. A recent study that included 32 patients (average 65 years of age, 31% female) in four Swedish clinics evaluated the effectiveness of the device in primary care.
Adherence was registered automatically, with data retrieved after four months; implementation was assessed by semi-structured interviews with eight HF nurses at four months; and self-care behavior was monitored using the European Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale (EHFScB-9). The results showed that 94% of patients used OPTILOGG as intended, and the HF nurses reported that it did not increase their workload. The median total score on the EHFScB-9 significantly decreased from 28.5 at baseline to 18 at four months. The study was presented at EuroHeartCare, held during May 2017 in Jonkoping (Sweden).
“Patients’ self-care behaviors improved by 10.5 points or 37% when they used OPTILOGG. The nurses said patients felt safer and were more committed to taking better care of themselves when using the tool. We also found that it did not create more work for nurses,” said lead author and study presenter Maria Liljeroos, RN, a PhD student at Linköping University (Sweden). “Our study shows that introducing OPTILOGG into primary care is feasible, and has the potential to help patients with heart failure to manage their condition.”
Systemic and pulmonary congestion is a central aspect of both acute and chronic HF, leading directly to many of the clinical manifestations of these syndromes. Diuretic therapy to treat congestion therefore plays a fundamental role in HF management. Aldosterone antagonists are indicated for patients with systolic failure and moderate to severe symptoms, as long as renal function and serum potassium are stable and monitored closely. All diuretic therapy requires careful monitoring of electrolytes and renal function.