Data from a pilot program presented at the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Summit taking place in Orlando, Florida, indicated that the use of clinician decision support tools in an outpatient setting can help educate and treat patients with stable ischemic heart disease successfully.

Three mobile apps were used in the study: the ACC FOCUS app; the Seattle Angina Questionnaire app; and the CardioSmart Heart Explorer app. Participants all exhibited symptoms of angina and were evaluated clinically. Data from 254 patients (53% female; mean age, 64 years) enrolled in the Florida Cardiovascular Quality Network were included in the data analysis.

Electronic tablets were determined to be the optimal format for engagement with the app. Each member of the care team shared the tablet, which held patient data securely. Study protocols were repeated at baseline, and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month intervals.

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Results indicated that overall the apps were useful in helping manage patient care. In particular, the Seattle Angina Questionnaire app found that patient’s quality of life improved from baseline to 12 months (65/100 to 90/100), while data collected from the CardioSmart Heart Explorer app “assisted in effective risk factor modification in 81% of patients.”

“Clinical support tools…are becoming an integral part of routine clinical procedure,” said A Allen Seals, MD, FACC, lead study author and a cardiologist at St Vincent’s Healthcare in Jacksonville, Florida. “These tools do not promote “cookbook medicine” but quite the opposite. They assist the provider in individualizing the care of each patient to follow national cardiovascular care guidelines.”

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He concluded, “In a team-based environment, patients should welcome the utilization of apps at the point of care and have confidence that these apps will have excellent value to their provider to improve the quality of cardiovascular care.”

Dr Seals and colleagues noted that future research should determine whether the structure use of apps in point of care settings can affect quality of care among a larger patient population, or in other disease states like atrial fibrillation or high cholesterol.


American College of Cardiology. Use of clinical apps significantly improves quality of cardiovascular care [news release]. Published February 14, 2019. Accessed February 14, 2019.