Heart disease patients don't embrace activity trackers

While a majority of heart patients believe activity trackers are a valuable tool for managing health, just 27 percent diagnosed with a cardiology risk are using the device, according to a new study.

The HealthMine survey, which polled 501 consumers with known heart disease or risk, reports that 31 percent with a heart risk are using some type of mHealth tool, 50 percent are using activity/fitness device or app, 48 percent are using a blood pressure cuff, 47 percent are using a heart rate app and 38 percent are using a food and nutrition app.

"Being connected to your health data can make a difference," Bryce Williams, CEO and president of HealthMine, said in an announcement. "Millions of wearable fitness tracking devices will be incorporated into wellness programs over the next few years. But they need to tie into a larger, clinically-based strategy to help consumers know where they stand with their health, what they need to do and stay motivated to do it."

The survey aligns with device engagement trends reported in a small study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, which reported healthy people stay engaged with mHealth devices longer than those managing a chronic disease, and that device adherence by both groups drops over time due to device fatigue and the challenge of managing more than one device.

While wearables may not be in high use among patients with heart disease, mobile phones can still help them stay healthy. Texting supportive reminders regarding lifestyle choices to patients with heart disease can help improve treatment results, according to study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The HealthMine data notes 36 percent of the 69 percent not using mHealth tools prefer "traditional" health management methods; 34 percent don't know what device and app to use for managing their heart issue, 20 percent don't own a mobile device and 15 percent say mHealth tools are too confusing.

For more information:
- read the announcement