Editie 2015:

Belofteprijs, 2015

Dr. Ines Frederix, ASO Cardiologie, PhD Studente UAntwerpen-UHasselt


"The Cardiac Patient Training Companion, a comprehensive and patient-tailored mHealth program for coronary artery disease patients"


What is the Cardiac Patient Training Companion in a nutshell?

The Cardiac Patient Training Companion project aims to design and develop a comprehensive smartphone- or tablet-based mHealth program and platform, which can be used as a secondary prevention tool for coronary artery disease patients to manage their own cardiac recovery and prevent recurrent cardiac disease.

According to the European Heart Network’s statistics (2012), each year cardiovascular disease contributes to 47% of all deaths in Europe. Following a cardiac event, secondary prevention by means of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a Class IB recommendation by the European Society of Cardiology. Despite the proven clinical effectiveness of conventional center-based CR programs, long-term benefits are often disappointing, mainly due to low CR uptake and adherence rates. The escalation of healthcare costs over the past years, however, has restricted the budget for expansion of CR programs and prompted the need for alternative care strategies. Innovations in telecommunication technologies enabled the advent of cardiac telerehabilitation programs, in which patients rehabilitate remotely using telemonitoring, telecoaching and e-learning. In the Cardiac Patient Training Companion project, we aim to design and develop a comprehensive and patient- tailored smart phone or tablet based mHealth program and platform, which can be used as a secondary prevention tool for coronary artery disease patients to manage their own cardiac recovery and prevent recurrent cardiac disease.

The program consists of several modules devoted to E-learning, telemonitoring, telecoaching, and two-way interaction with the caregiver. In E-learning, patients will be provided with medically and scientifically founded information using interactive educational material (i.e. videos). In telemonitoring different sensors (e.g. accelerometer, blood pressure monitor, scale, heart rate monitor) obtain a precise and complete image of the evolution of the patients’ disease; optimizing both patients’ and caregivers’ knowledge base. Measured data are combined with behavior, background, motives, and environment to give tailored feedback and advice to change behavior (telecoaching). Providing patients with information that is individualized and highly relevant for them will result in higher motivation and better adherence to desirable behavior change. Through co- decision with the prevention team (cardiologists, physiotherapists, psychologists,…), cardiac patients will be able to tailor the Cardiac Patient Training Companion to support best their individual cardiovascular condition. In this project, patients are at the epicentre of their personalized secondary prevention program, enabling self-management of their cardiac disease with the purpose to prevent complications or severe episodes and to enhance their quality of life by increased personal and active involvement.