The digital health group Cardihab has partnered with the Tasmanian Health Department and the Royal Flying Medical Service, an aeromedical organization, to launch its Cardihab application in public hospitals across the state. The app will allow patients in Tasmania with heart disease to undergo rehabilitation programs and receive medical advice at home through weekly phone calls and video consultations.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Tasmania, with a mortality rate higher than the national average of 9.8 deaths per 100,000 people. A study by RFDS researchers also found that Australians living in rural areas are 1.6 times more likely to be hospitalized for coronary heart disease and 1.3 times more likely to die than their counterparts living in urban areas. The RFDS also issued another statement stating that four out of five deaths due to premature heart disease could be prevented if there were cardiac rehabilitation services in rural areas.
COVID-19 has accelerated the way health organizations can take advantage of virtual care to ensure the safety of people during an extremely contagious pandemic. Healthcare providers are increasingly devising innovative solutions to care for patients in rural areas who may not be able to access healthcare services easily. For example, in the United States, Abbott has updated its neuromodulation platform based on remote programming applications to enable live video chats with patients with chronic pain and movement disorders, and remotely prescribe new settings for their neuromodulation therapies.
ON THE MINUTES
“It’s an ideal solution for busy people who are banned from attending traditional face-to-face clinics, people living in remote areas, patients who are less mobile and throughout COVID-19,” said Helen Souris, CEO of Cardihaba.
John Kirwan, executive director of RFDS in Tasmania, further explained that the use of such rehabilitation programs would make them more accessible and open up more opportunities for “those who would neglect rehabilitation due to weather obstacles, costs and distance.”