An App for cardiovascular management shows promise

Researchers have found a way to improve the quality of primary care and clinical outcomes cost-effectively by using a smart phone application for cardiovascular management program (SimCard). A trial was conducted in India and China. The study, which is the first dual-country trial of its kind worldwide, was delivered by community health workers and is ideal in resource-constrained settings.

The trial carried out in 20 villages in Haryana, and 27 villages in Tibet used a mobile app that focussed on two lifestyle modifications (smoking cessation and salt reduction) and use of two medications (blood pressure lowering agents and aspirin).

The trial increased the adherence to anti-hypertensive medications by 25.5 per cent in the intervention group. However, the uptake of aspirin medication was more in China (24.5 per cent) than in India (9.8 per cent. Similarly, a “significant net reduction” of over 4 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure was seen in China; there was no significant reduction in the case of India.

Over 16 per cent increase in the proportion of high-risk patients receiving monthly follow-up was seen in both countries. However, no changes in lifestyle were seen in the 2086 individuals with high CVD risks — over 40 years old with a self-reported history of CVD and a measured systolic blood pressure over 160 mm Hg. The results were published recently in the journal Circulation.

The study was carried out by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Delhi in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in India and The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center in collaboration with Tibet University in China.

Published in The Hindu on August 23, 2015