Keeping on track with a heart health app

Neil Buckland had a heart valve replacement and bypass operation in March, and credits a telehealth cardiac rehabilitation program with his ongoing recovery.

Neil and Barbara Buckland enjoy daily walks as part of Mr Buckland's recovery. They are pictured at Wentworth Falls lake.

Neil and Barbara Buckland enjoy daily walks as part of Mr Buckland's recovery. They are pictured at Wentworth Falls lake.

The Medibank Heart Health at Home program has ensured the Wentworth Falls man has medical professionals at his fingertips through the coronavirus pandemic.

A cardiac nurse called the 84-year-old weekly for two months, where he could express any concerns, and the program was installed on Mr Buckland's iPad giving him daily targets to work towards.

The CSIRO-developed app helps track a person's blood pressure, medications, weight, physical activity, diet, stress and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"I had to fill in how I felt and how long I walked in the morning and how long I walked in the afternoon," Mr Buckland said.

"Not only filling it in encouraged me to do the exercise, and do the check in. I might not have done it [the exercise] otherwise, I would have got a bit lazy."

Catherine Keating, Medibank's head of member health service design and strategy, said clinical evidence showed that attending cardiac rehabilitation after an acute cardiac event can reduce cardiac-related readmissions by 30 per cent and reduces the chance of death by 30 per cent within 12 months.

"The goal of the program is to improve access to cardiac rehabilitation so that patients can feel supported in their recovery, and better understand and manage their risk factors for cardiovascular disease," Ms Keating said.

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