HF Monitor Brings Patients, Caregivers, Loved Ones and Doctors Together to Manage and Monitor Heart Failure
The Elevator Pitch:
A heart failure diagnosis can leave patients feeling depressed, confused and alone. However, heart failure also affects those closest to the patient as well. HF Monitor helps share the burden of monitoring this deadly disease so it can be easily managed among the people who care the most.
The Problem And our Discovery Process
Per Novartis: “[Heart Failure] is one of the most difficult and chronic heart diseases to manage and the biggest cause of hospital admissions in adults aged over 65 in the Western world… About 25% of patients die within a year of diagnosis and 50% within five years”
These are very sobering statistics. When looking deeper, we found that depression and anxiety often follows a heart failure diagnosis.
It made us ask this question: even if a magic app or device exists that automatically captured all important vital details such as heart beat rate, weight changes, fatigue, trouble breathing, etc, would a patient experiencing depression and anxiety be motivated on their own to consistently follow a complicated medication regimen, recommended advice on diet and nutrition, and make necessary life changes before it’s too late?
From there we looked into existing app solutions such as HF Path which, no doubt, help tremendously when used as recommended, but found patient adoption and regular use seemed surprisingly low. We ourselves found the apps’ onboarding process somewhat confusing, and we’re not 65+ going through the emotions a patient might be feeling.
After doing our best to imagine ourselves as the patient, the technological solution seemed obvious. Create an app that connects the people closest to the patient, from the patient to caregivers, loved ones and (possibly) doctors, and it could drastically help in supporting the patient to have a much better quality of life.
With this approach, it’s very possible adoption of technological aids would increase. With more people involved in helping, from getting the app setup, to knowing and sharing what to look for and what to do, using technology to detect potential problems earlier and seek treatment sooner is even more likely.
The Details: How HF Monitor works
When signing up on the app, there are three different options depending on who you are:
- Caregiver or Loved One
- Setup: Streamlined onboarding process that is simple to get started with right away
- Patient Profile: add important details that aid monitoring such as current weight, medications, or any other important detail
- Connect: easily add caregivers and loved ones so they can monitor progress
- Messaging: receive uplifting messages from loved ones right on the dashboard
- Connect: with other patients (with an anonymous option) and help each other through discussion boards and private messages
- Daily update: fields to add data such as weight, breathing, etc
- Automatic updates: Link a fitbit or other health/fitness tracker to autoupdate available data such as heart beat and exercise
- Research: Folder for resources and reading material with bookmarking that can be easily shared between doctors, patients and caregivers for example:
- What Heart Failure is, and what to look for
- Tips on healthy living, etc
- Connect: with patient by sending request that must be approved
- Messaging: send positive uplifting personalized messages with photos (optional) that can be scheduled in advance. These can be auto generated or customized. Should they be funny, serious, loving or customized? Caregivers decide, since they know what may motivate the patient the best.
- Connect: with other caregivers (with an anonymous option) and help each other through discussion boards and private messages
- Updates: View a summarized patient update, such as changes in weight, skipped medication, etc.
- Research: Browse help files on how they can help support the patient, what to watch for, and more. Keep in Reading Folder, share with others and more
- Updates: View notifications on:
- when patient daily update fields have not been updated
- patient warning signs
- messages from the patient if they need help or have questions
- Add important details for each patient such as:
- Upcoming and follow up appointments
- Additional recommended tests
- Advice on diet, exercise and general care
- Monitoring and Management instructions or any other instructions
- Doctors can, if they wish, have messages and reminders sent for:
- Upcoming appointments
- Healthy living, etc
- Doctors level of involvement is voluntary
- Connect with patients
Overall view of all of their patients in the app and how they’re doing
Note: If doctor involvement is not possible, information that a doctor might pass along can be filled in by the patient
About Us – The Team
Amanda Morse and Clara Albornoz are entrepreneurs that come from international corporate backgrounds and have been business owners for years. We currently run The Clothing Vault, and are working on a next generation ecommerce product listing platform to help any size business list better and sell more.
The TechCrunch Disrupt Novartis challenge speaks to us because we’ve been fortunate to receive health care when necessary internationally. This has given us a glimpse of an alternate approach to medicine from places where health care is more transparent, accessible, and community based.