Chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment and reduced overall fitness following heart failure can affect a patient’s ability to perform everyday activities and their mindset. The role of occupational therapy in recovery from heart failure, as stipulated by AOTA, is to address: “ strategies to conserve energy and reduce the demands of activities, while integrating appropriate physical activity and self-monitoring”. Therapists often point to patient noncompliance or lack of motivation as obstacles in achieving successful outcomes using the strategies they devise. Technology can play a significant role in patient involvement in their own recovery. Here are five IOS apps to be used as is or modified to increase patient compliance and facilitate self-monitoring:
- Living Life: Georgia Regents University’s app created for cancer survivors can be adapted for use by CVD patients to assess their physical function, including fatigue levels.
- Heart Health: Since patient education is key to recovery, the blood pressure monitoring and daily heart healthy techniques of this app make it a must try for patients.
- Depression v2: The only app providing dietary guidance for concurrent symptoms of depression and heart disease. Patients create a mobile personal food profile to use in various environments.
- HF Tracker: iPad only app designed for geriatric patients to monitor weight fluctuations as a precursor to heart failure.
- Cardiio: The ease of use makes this a must have for self-monitoring of heart rate. Should be used in conjunction with specific OT designated ADLs and exercise routines.
The Occupational Therapist is key to patient recovery from heart failure and can serve as a catalyst for increasing patient compliance. Apps like the above make self-monitoring of symptoms and daily activities easier to record, review and analyze for both patient and therapist. Check out our Facebook page for other great apps.