DCU heart tech to help home patients
researchers have created technology that can rehabilitate heart patients in their own home.
The interactive home-exercise programmes are being developed by researchers at Dublin City University (DCU).
Cardio-vascular disease is the leading cause of premature death and disability worldwide and costs the EU economy almost €196bn every year.
DCU's School of Health and Human Performance is leading the €5m European research project which aims to improve the rehabilitation experience of patients recovering from cardio-vascular disease (CVD).
The PATHway (Physical Activity Towards Health) project will develop health technologies to create personalised rehabilitation programmes for patients.
These allow them to remotely take part in exercise sessions in their own homes, receive feedback and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Instruction and advice will be provided by an online personal trainer as user feedback will be recorded through the use of sensors placed on the patient as they perform their exercises.
CVD patients are currently referred to community-based programmes which often have very low levels of uptake - about 11pc - and even higher rates of patient drop-out.
Dr Kieran Moran of DCU, who is co-ordinating the project, said there are many barriers to participation in community-based programmes and this technology hopes to tackle this problem.
"While everyone is aware of the well proven life-enhancing and life-extending benefits from physical activity and exercise for cardiac rehabilitation, uptake and adherence are extremely poor," he said.
"We have put together an internationally renowned group of experts from the fields of behavioural change, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise science, health economics, technology and games development to develop the PATHway programme.
"This is aimed to help people better self-manage their health, change their inappropriate lifestyle behaviours and, most importantly, increase their levels of exercise and physical activity."
Funding for the project was received through the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme.
European partners include the Mater Hospital, the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece, University of Ulster, the University of Glasgow, the Dutch-based Electronic Record Services BV and Italian Engineering IT.