Scientists developed app to address heart disease

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A group of Indian and Australian scientists has developed and tested a mobile application-based system that promises to help doctors and health workers in villages to identify, monitor and manage patients with high blood pressure and heart-related ailments in remote areas.

  • The app is in the form of a clinical decision support system (CDSS), which can be loaded on an android phone.
  • The system also had a module that can send alerts to health workers about high-risk individuals who need follow-up visits.
  • In addition, it reminds patients on when to take their medication and when to visit the doctor for follow-up via an interactive voice response system.
  • The platform can also link village-based assessments to doctor-level care and follow-up.
  • In the study, people aged 40 and drawn from 54 villages in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh were screened to identify those at high risk of heart disease. 
  • Health workers, ASHAs, were trained to evaluate the risk of heart disease using tablet phones loaded with the app and refer those with high risk to Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
  • The intervention was rolled out in 18 PHCs in a step-wise manner and was evaluated by comparing improvements during the periods when PHCs were receiving the intervention and when they were not.