Mobile CDS tools help rural providers assess cardiovascular disease

A mobile clinical support tool for assessing and managing cardiovascular disease is proving to be a viable healthcare diagnostic technology for patients living in remote areas where residents don't have access to traditional treatment facilities.

SMARTHealth is a point of care Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system featuring an app that has a risk prediction and management algorithm, as well as an electronic medical record system. The program has proved viable for assessing patients in India and determining who is at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new research paper published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

Researchers examined four areas of the app system, including system efficiency, manual data entry errors, end-user variability and usefulness of point-of-care management recommendations to a healthcare worker. The system was tested among 11 Indian village healthcare workers and three primary health doctors who conducted health screenings of 292 adults ages 40 and older.      

"In-depth analysis of user interactions [in the pilot] found the CDS tool feasible for use and easily integrable into the workflow of healthcare workers," said the study's authors, who also cited needed tech enhancements for improved uptake of the platform. More than a third of the patients were screened as high risk, and the clinical impact of the program would need to be demonstrated, according to the report. 

The research results are just the latest evidence of how mHealth technology is making an impact on the healthcare and well being of patients living in rural and emerging countries. A new Brookings report reveals mHealth tech, tools and devices are boosting patient care and treatment strategies, from preventing maternal health issues to battling Ebola, in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone in Africa. In addition, a Groupe Speciale Mobile Association's Mobile for Development mHealth program launched a cross-ecosystem partnership last July to offer mHealth services with a focus on nutrition to 15.5 million pregnant women, mothers and children under the age of 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 For more information:
- read the research paper (.pdf)

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