As of 2017, mobile technologies in cardiology have reached an impressive level of efficiency and use. Implantable and wearable devices (e.g. CardioMEMS, Cardea Solo ECG) can transmit specific health status data for cardiac professionals to monitor patients remotely, intervene early and thus reduce the rate of hospitalizations and readmissions.
Cardiac mobile app development brings in multiple general and specific mHealth apps for patients with various cardiac conditions, including heart failure, that power patient self-care and are proven to reduce readmissions.
As mobile cardiology is gaining its momentum, we are thrilled to explore how the area will evolve in the next years. Based on current researches and pursuits, we can make a few suggestions on what to expect in mobile cardiology.
Future of implantable mobile cardiology
We think that catheter-based interventions will gradually replace open surgical procedures for many conditions, including critical limb ischemia (CLI), peripheral artery disease (PAD) and valve insufficiency (MI and AVI). Accordingly, many implantable devices, such as pacemakers, will become tiny and wireless, to be easily implanted through a catheter.
We expect that implantable devices of the next generation will enable 24/7 remote heart monitoring by recording patient data, building patterns and sending readings to a physician. For example, a device can indicate the need for a follow-up, medication or exercise plan change, device reprogramming and more. For better flexibility and timely response, we expect that the data will be sent to a professional’s mobile device with setup notifications and alerts.
Future of wearables and apps in cardiology
We anticipate that smaller wearable patient monitors will extensively substitute Holter monitors. They will also become smarter and introduce a truly mobile heart monitoring into cardiology. These smart monitors will gather and send data automatically and autonomously, without the need for patients to attend the clinic each time. Later, we will be able to tune these wearables for individual patients and their condition to make post-acute or post-discharge monitoring more indicative of important health changes in a particular patient.
The other way for wearables to evolve is in the form of flexible sensors. Film-printed microcircuitry devices can be applied to a patient’s skin like stickers and directly monitor the vitals. Therefore, they can serve as personal remote heart monitoring systems for patients with high cardiac risks or chronic conditions, such as heart failure.
They won’t feel as uncomfortable as current wearables may sometimes be and will be able to transmit all collected data to the provider. In case of significant health changes, they will alert and notify the physician immediately.
What about mobile apps? Not being the center of attention, mobile health applications will serve as connecting points between a patient and their device, a physician and a patient, a patient’s device and their provider. Practically, all data from wearable devices will end up in specially created mHealth applications that will create patterns, notify about disturbing peaks or declines in readings, suggest a follow-up or device checking.
Future is near
Healthcare tends to take it slow, we accept that. However, cardiology is somehow different due to the burden that cardiovascular diseases and conditions put on the nation. It seems that innovations in cardiology take root faster than in other areas. For example, leadless pacemaker technology already exists and advances, so we anticipate that mobile cardiology will make significant progress in the next decade.
The possible benefits from it include remote post-acute and post-discharge heart monitoring with fewer LOS, controlled in-home rehabilitation with reduced discharge risks, mobile heart monitoring for high-risk patients with reduced hospitalization rates and more. The future appears to be bright, and we can’t wait for it to begin.