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How health technology helps promote cardiovascular health outcomes

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Health technology in the hands of cardiac patients — helpful, hindrance, or hesitate to say?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death and hospital admissions in Australia.1 Almost a third of patients will have a recurrence such as myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, heart failure and death within 5 years.2 Reductions of at least 80% in these events can be achieved through secondary prevention behaviours, including taking cardioprotective medications as prescribed, ceasing smoking, increasing physical activity and consuming a healthy diet.3 The most comprehensive and proven of strategies to support secondary prevention is cardiac rehabilitation. This is an evidence-based, cost-effective method to reduce CVD deaths, assist recovery and promote secondary prevention through reduction of cardiovascular risk factors.

The strength of secondary prevention success in cardiac rehabilitation ultimately depends on patients’ awareness, willingness and capacity to make lifestyle changes and to engage in the required behaviours. Patients must have a strong commitment to their health to sustain secondary prevention behaviours for the rest of their lives, often without direct evidence of benefit, as CVD is asymptomatic in the majority of cases.3 However, cardiac rehabilitation is widely…