Digitizing Cardiac Rehab to Capture and Retain More Patients

Podcast, Videos


Dr. Harsh Vathsangam, CEO & Co-Founder of Moving Analytics, shares his expertise on mobile health and discusses how it can be used to improve patient adherence and access to cardiac rehab for under-served populations. He also explains why mobile health and telehealth are the future of healthcare.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: Tell us a little bit about the four years of in-depth research with hundreds of healthcare providers. What is cardiac rehabilitation? What brings somebody there, first off, and then what were some of the issues that healthcare providers, payers, and patients were experiencing?

A: Sure. There are about three and a half million adults in the United States today that have what is called an acute coronary event which means a coronary event that requires you to go to a hospital or an ER room and so on. These include events like a heart attack, a heart surgery; some people might be familiar with the term “stent” or “PCI” because they are basically outpatient procedures where they clear blockages in your heart or replace arteries, and so on. All of these are diseases of what is called the coronary artery, which is the main artery that feeds blood and oxygen to all the muscles of your heart.

When you have a heart attack, that artery basically bursts, which means your muscles start dying out and your heart dies. That’s what leads to death as well. Once you are discharged from that event, cardiac rehab is a clinically supervised program that gets you to adopt healthy lifestyle habits in a very safe and sustained way so that you can improve your cardiovascular health and then reduce your risk of getting a second event.

Cardiac rehab is a life-saving service. Studies show that if you complete cardiac rehab, your chance of living another five years doubles. Your risk of getting a second heart attack or second heart event is cut in half. Think about it for those with pharmaceutical backgrounds, if you had a wonder drug that reduces future heart attacks in half, that will be the biggest blockbuster drug ever in the market. Despite these benefits, 90% or sometimes 95% of patients after an acute event do not participate in these programs. The reason purely is one of access.

To get access to a cardiac rehab program, you have to visit a facility and most people live too far from a facility so they have to drive for long hours to get there. They will take time off from work. Sometimes facilities have a backlog of three months or longer so you have to wait three months after a heart attack to get the benefits. This is a problem for all the outcomes we mentioned and that’s what put the spark in our minds were essentially we said, “Hey, what if we completely alleviated distance as a problem here and make sure that you got rehab from your home where you wanted when you want it? What would that form of rehab look like?” That’s what led us to create Movn as a virtual rehab program that you can do completely from home.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Dr. Harsh Vathsangam, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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