Mobile app supported system to better manage people at risk of cardio-vascular disease

Education, Engineering, Science, Research,

NEW DELHI, September 04 :  A mobile app supported system developed
by an Indo-Australian team to help identify and better manage people at high
risk of cardiovascular disease has been shown to be beneficial in a study
conducted in rural communities in Indonesia. The application was developed in Australia
and piloted in India. It is now being taken to other countries.   

The study showed
that in community where the system is being used, 15% of patients with high
risk for the disease were taking medications to manage their risk factors at
follow up, compared to just  one percent in
`control’ villages where the system is yet to be used.

Lead author of
the study and Chief Scientist at The George Institute for Global Health,
Professor Anushka Patel said,

“The system
has the potential to improve the lives of tens of millions of people,
particularly in low to middle-income countries where cardiovascular disease (CVD)
is on the rise. It is estimated to be the cause of one-third of all deaths in
Indonesia in 2016. But, data suggests that less than one-third of those with
moderate to high risk for the disease received any preventive care”.

Called `SMARThealth’,
the mobile device-based clinical decision support system allows
community health workers to assess the risks of getting cardiovascular disease using
basic equipment and refer those at high risk to nurses or physicians for
further consultation.

Developed by
The George Institute for Global Health, the system is being evaluated for a
range of conditions in China, India, Thailand, and Myanmar.  An earlier
pilot study conducted in Bhimavaram in South India and in Haryana in North
India, had shown encouraging results. 

“In the
present study we deliberately set out to evaluate how effective our technology
platform could be when embedded within the context of a complex local health
system,” said Dr. D. Praveen, the global project director of `SMARThealth’, based
at The George Institute, India.

Indonesian study covered 6,579 individuals living in eight villages in Malang
district, who were identified as being at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Four
of the villages were chosen for the intervention using the app and each of them
was matched with one of four ‘control’ villages that received usual care.
Baseline data was collected in September 2016 and follow up was completed in
March 2018. A report on the study has been
published in JAMA Cardiology.

A press release from George Institute
for Global Health said the Malang district government is now aiming to take the
system to around 400 more villages over the next three years. A consortium of researchers from the
George Institute for Global Health, The University of Brawijaya in Indonesia and
the University of Manchester have been funded by the Australian National Health
and Medical Research Council to provide technical assistance for and to
evaluate the scale-up.

By Jyoti Singh

(India Science Wire)

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