How can HeartMan help me?

See what HeartMan can do for patients, practitioners, software and hardware developers and policy makers.

HeartMan for patients

If you are living with congestive heart failure, you will have received a lot of information and advice from your doctors. However, you probably do not remember all of it; and sometimes you may not be sure how to follow the advice in your everyday life.

  • The HeartMan system is being developed to help you. It will provide information on exercise that will make you feel better and fitter, and the exercise will be adapted to your personal needs and capabilities.
  • The HeartMan system will also provide practical advice on diet and intake of liquid. If you want, it can remind you to take your medications, and make sure they do not interfere with your exercise.
  • HeartMan will also remind you to measure your blood pressure, weight and heart rate; this is information that the system and your doctors need to be able to help you manage and live comfortably with your disease. In addition, if you want, the system can provide relaxation exercises that will help you worry less about your disease and, therefore, help you feel better.

The HeartMan system will do this through a mobile application. The application is developed with involvement of people who - just like you - live with heart failure. So it is very user-friendly and easy to use. Part of the HeartMan system is a wristband that can measure your heart rate. If you wish, your doctors will get access to the health information about you which is collected by the HeartMan system; with such access, they are in a better position to look after you and your health.

HeartMan for practitioners

You are well aware that the patients often do not adhere to the advice they are given on the self-management of congestive heart failure. However, medical professionals typically do not have enough time and contact with the patients to adequately coach them. The HeartMan system will provide patients with coaching based on current medical guidelines, covering the areas of exercise, diet and liquid intake, medication, and regular physiological measurements. In addition, it will provide psychological support to improve adherence and wellbeing. The coaching will be personalized, delivered at the right time through a mobile application, and enhanced by a wristband that continuously measures the heart rate, physical activity and respiration rate, as well as estimates the blood pressure. These objective parameters will reinforce the monitoring of the feelings and wellbeing that patients living with heart failure do report and we will understand more of the relations they have with symptoms and health. This is why the system asks daily of the patients’ feelings and of sexual activities.

The measurements from the wristband, as well as the blood pressure and weight measured by conventional devices, will be available to you through a web application in a compact manner easy to understand at a glance. The application will also provide information on the patients’ diet, liquid intake and medication adherence as captured by questionnaires. Finally, the application can be used to take note and record of any changes that Doctors will do in the patients' medication scheme, which will immediately be reflected in the reminders that the HeartMan system gives to the patients. The system can also connect to your hospital information system to obtain the patients’ up-to-date health records.

HeartMan for software developers

The HeartMan system is a state-of-the-art personal health system that helps patients manage congestive heart failure, one of the most widespread diseases among people over 65, and a leading cause of hospitalisations. It consists of a mobile application that coaches the patient; a wristband connected to this application that measures the heart rate, physical activity and respiration rate, as well as estimates the blood pressure; a backend that manages the patients’ data and performs some of the reasoning about patient’s condition; and a web application for medical professionals.

The mobile application is based on the IoTool framework, which makes it possible to easily connect to devices other than the HeartMan wristband (which might be done in future releases of this system), as well as modify the functionality of the system to adapt to some particular user group. The backend uses the HL7 FHIR standards framework for data management, so it provides interoperability with various hospital information systems from which it can obtain patients’ health record. Its specification is flexible and extensible, with strong focus on implementation. The adoption of FHIR enables the provision of integrated healthcare across a wide variety of settings through widely used RESTful practices and modular components.

HeartMan for policy makers

It is estimated that 15 million people live with heart failure in Europe ; it is one of the few cardiovascular conditions whose prevalence continues to rise.

In most Western economies, heart failure is responsible for 1-2% of all health care expenditure. The bulk of these costs are driven by frequent, prolonged and repeat hospitalisations.

Overall cost of heart failure in Europe is estimated to have reached $40.26 billion in 2012 (~ €34.41 billion). For the EU alone, the cost was estimated at $33.51 billion (~ €28.646 billion).

The HeartMan project will develop a personal health system to help heart failure patients manage their disease. It will provide support to the patients and help improving their quality of life. In doing so, it will facilitate adherence to prescribed treatments and offer psycho-social help. As a consequence, it is expected that the HeartMan system can reduce hospital admissions and associated costs; it can thus help stem the financial burden on European healthcare systems caused by heart failure. By actually slowing down the deterioration of heart function due to improved supported exercise tolerance and physical fitness, HeartMan coached patients are also sustained psychologically and from the dietary point of view. The Trial that we will perform will globally assess whether the system is indeed capable to improve patients’ quality of life, including sexual activity and healthy state, thus helping decreasing hospitalizations and related costs.