Love Your Heart Health
Heart Health Goes Digital
February. The month of love. A time to celebrate all things heart related – and we’re not just talking about candy hearts. February is American Heart Month and is a time to spread awareness about heart health and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States – in fact, according to the CDC, one person dies every 37 seconds in the US from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease affecting so many people is a major reason why there are so many cardiovascular-related devices on the rise. In the future, with the help of technological advancements and the rise of the wellness movement, we can hope to see a decline in heart disease.
There is power in prevention when it comes to heart disease – and monitoring your health digitally is easier than ever. No longer are the days of having to go to the doctor’s office or your local pharmacy to take your blood pressure. Now, at-home blood pressure monitors are affordable and can tell you more than ever before. The Omron Complete is a totally wireless blood pressure monitor with built-in EKG technology. This device offers diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings as well as your pulse measurements and indicators for tachycardia, bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, and sinus rhythm. They are all measured automatically, at the same time, and the information is sent right to your Omron Connect app. Not only does this device put you in control of your health, but it allows you to share information with your doctor with ease, to help inform future treatment decisions. While you probably wouldn’t own a blood pressure monitor unless you were aware of an issue or family history – you might own an Apple Watch! The latest iteration of the Apple Watch, which debuted in September 2019, offers an ECG app. While the Apple Watch can’t detect a heart attack, blood clots, or stroke – it can identify an irregular rhythm which could be an indication of a problem.
If you are having a cardiac episode – the best thing will always be to get to an emergency room right away. If you’re alone, this could prove to be a difficult task if you can’t reach your phone. If you’re wearing an Apple Watch, a hard fall can be detected and contact emergency services if needed. Researchers at the University of Washington have been working on an AI-powered tool that could be used with smart speakers, like an Alexa or Google Home, or smartphones to listen out for the unique breathing sounds associated with cardiac arrest – and then contact 911. “It’s sort of a guttural gasping noise, and its uniqueness makes it a good audio biomarker to use to identify if someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest,” reports Dr. Jacob Sunshine, assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine. This product is still in the testing phase, but shows promise for in-home technology that can help you through a cardiac emergency.
When it comes to recovery from cardiovascular-related events, such as a stroke, virtual reality is taking the spotlight. Rewellio, a stroke rehabilitation software platform was created by a professional physiotherapist with a software development background. A tablet app that can be paired with VR and visits with your therapist, Rewellio offers cognitive, visual, and arm exercises depending on your personal need and recovery plan. The app offers a progress dashboard that lets you look over your data and share information with your therapist. MindMaze, another VR company, offers mindmotion™, which is an FDA approved neurorehabilitation solution using virtual environment-based technology. Now the question is: what’s next for digital cardiovascular care and how can these products impact the future of our health? This digital healthcare marketing team is on the lookout.