Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious disease that requires complex management involving multiple medications, exercise, and lifestyle changes. It mainly affects older patients, many of whom also have depression and anxiety, so they find disease management difficult. Existing mobile apps supporting the self-management of CHF have limited features and are inadequately validated. For example, there is no existing solution which is taking into account the psychological state of the CHF patient and offering accurate advice on disease management adapted to each patient.
The Slovenian research institute with partners have developed a state-of-the-art personal health system that helps patients manage CHF. It consists of a mobile application that coaches the patient; a wristband connected to the 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 application recognizes five important topics concerning self-management for these patients: physical activity, medication, nutrition, monitoring of symptoms and physiological parameters, and environment management. The application has access to patient’s health records, it is connected to a monitoring wristband, and keeps a record of the user’s past actions. Provided guidance is thus personalized and based on the patient’s data. For example, the exercise programme depends on the patient’s physical capacity and current heart rate, while the nutrition education is adapted to the patient’s comorbidities (diabetes etc.) and focuses on topics the patient has difficulties with. Healthcare professionals have a key role in the CHF. Therefore, the solution includes also a web portal designed specifically for professionals. The portal provides fast access to patient data from multiple sources, and simplifies the interpretation of patient information to improve disease management.
The authors of the system are computer science researchers, with many successfully applied and won machine learning challenges in the health, Covid 19 response and industrial domains, such as Xprize competition.
The research institute is seeking academic institutions, hospitals and industry who would use the system to support their research (under a research cooperation agreement). The institute is also keen to cooperate with an industrial partner for the commercialization of the technology (under a technical cooperation agreement).