BOSTON – Massachusetts General Hospital will use an app developed by medical technology company Jana Care to study its effectiveness for the self-management of congestive heart failure.
“We hope that this clinical trial will help us understand the ability of heart failure patients to take a more active role in managing their symptoms,” said Dr. Nasrien Ibrahim, one of the study leaders, in a statement.
The mobile application, Heart Habits, provides an easy-to-use interface for heart failure patients to learn how to manage their lifestyle and monitor their heart failure symptoms. The app provides a daily checklist to guide patients to take bite-sized lessons, track their weight, sodium and fluid intake, and check in on their symptoms. Twice a week, or in the event of substantial weight gain, patients will be prompted to take a survey to assess the severity of their symptoms. Depending on the severity of the survey, patients will be advised to either call their doctors or 911, or simply check in with their providers later.
Patients’ symptom results and progress are shared with the study investigators through a web dashboard, but patients can also contact their study team through the app’s chat function.
Recruitment of heart failure patients at MGH has just begun, and the study is expected to conclude by the end of 2017.
At the end of the six-week study, patients’ knowledge of heart failure and a self-reported quality of life assessment will be compared to those in a control group.
“In designing the Habits Heart application, we considered both the clinician and patient experience carefully,” said A.J. Kumar, chief scientific officer at Jana Care, in a statement.
“We combined MGH’s deep area knowledge with Jana Care’s experience in creating scalable digital coaching programs in an easy-to-use but engaging way for heart failure patients,” he said.