There’s an App For Heart Health

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Oregon resident Drew Basse owes his life to PulsePoint, a free, location-based mobile health app that connects a person experiencing cardiac arrest with someone nearby who is trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In Basse’s case, an off-duty firefighter answered the PulsePoint alert.

This high-profile case is just one example of the growing field of heart mobile health.

Today, cardiologists routinely monitor implantable defibrillators and pacemakers via transmitters in patients’ homes, allowing them to keep an eye on how the device is functioning, as well as the patient’s heart rhythm.

Mobile Health and Prevention

Mobile health can also benefit individuals who are trying to prevent or control some of the major risk factors of heart disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity/overweight. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for U.S. men and women. The good news is that it is often preventable.

There are many apps available to download to your smartphone, often at no cost, to help you stay on top of your heart health. While none substitute for care from your healthcare provider, apps can play a valuable role in day-to-day awareness and monitoring.

There are also apps that transform your smartphone to an ECG machine (AliveCor Heart Monitor), and help cardiac patients with nutrition (Fooducate), smoking cessation, and tracking medication (Care4Today™ Mobile Health Manager).

Apps Are Not a Replacement For Personal Care

With apps for both medical and non-medical emergencies, mobile health will succeed on many fronts. It can fill in the gaps in transmission of educational materials to patients and caregivers, create patient engagement through personal data collection and tracking, and ultimately enhance communication between patients and providers.

Apps and other technology certainly will bring the benefits of mobile medicine to the broader population, but rest assured, mobile medicine will never replace physicians and the personal relationship between doctors and their patients.

If you are a patient of Lancaster General Health, you can access your medical record online through our app. Download from MyLGHealth.org.

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David L. Scher, MD

David L. Scher, MD, FACC, FHRS, is a cardiologist with The Heart Group of Lancaster General Health. Dr. Scher’s areas of expertise include abnormal heart rhythm diagnosis and management, holter monitoring, defibrillator management, mobile health technology, and remote patient monitoring. 

Education: Medical School—University of Bologna, Italy; Residency—Maimonides Medical Center; Fellowship—Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Call: 717-544-8300

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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