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AHA Brings Latest Research On Heart Disease Out Of The Lab And Into Older American’s Homes

The American Heart Association (AHA) has teamed up with one of the nation’s leading home care providers to bring its life-saving research into the homes of America’s seniors.

The AHA is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—the two leading causes of death in the world. Every 90 seconds, another American dies of heart disease – more than all forms of cancer combined, and some 85.6 million Americans live with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, home care startup Honor and the AHA on May 1 will bring the AHA’s latest heart disease and stroke research out of the lab and directly into the homes of patients suffering from heart disease or recovering from a stroke. The research will provide science-based information to home health care professionals so they might better treat their patients and to individuals so they might better educate themselves on taking care of themselves and their loved ones.

The technology-driven initiative is part of a broader movement by organizations like the AHA to have a greater impact on patient care beyond clinical trials and hospital treatments. Honor has similar agreements to provide specialized in-home care with the National Parkinson Foundation and Alzheimer’s Association.

An example of a communication on the Honor Family App. The AHA research will be part of this app for patients and caregivers.

(Photo Courtesy of Honor.)

An example of a communication on the Honor Family App. The AHA research will be part of this app for patients and caregivers.

“We are taking the guidelines and scientific statements for conditions like heart failure, stroke and lifestyle modification and compiling them all into formats, like Honor’s, that can be delivered directly to patients in a language they can understand,” said Patrick Dunn, Ph.D., manager of Connected Health for the AHA’s Center for Health Technology and Innovation. “Honor is the first but certainly won’t be the last. We are trying to help the technology world fulfill a basic promise that technology solutions can result in better health. Our strategy is that the science matters. Our strategy is to make sure the content that is delivered to customers is accurate and will lead to better health and lead to a better healthy life.”

Traditionally, Dunn said, the AHA worked with health care providers, mainly physicians, to pass its guidelines for treating heart disease to patients suffering from high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks. But the reality is that doctors are busy and patients need to get information on a more consistent basis from a reliable source.

“People want information they can trust,” Dunn said. “After you have been diagnosed with heart disease, it is obviously very overwhelming and it’s hard. So this is really about helping people and providing information they need from a trusted source. We are a trusted source for consumers and health care providers. We are giving them evidence- and science-based information they can use as opposed to having to work from other sources or even find other sources.”

Dunn worked as a certified exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab for more than 30 years

Doctors have long prescribed medication, diet and exercise for Americans recovering from heart attacks, but until now there hasn’t been any real way to enforce it once they got home. The partnership between AHA and Honor will allow the home care company to specially train its frontline caregivers on the latest AHA research for seniors suffering from heart disease or recovering from a stroke. Ultimately, Honor will incorporate the research and best care practices directly into its innovative mobile app, Honor Family App, which will not only provide caregivers with the latest tools and knowledge at their fingertips but will allow patients and their families to track the care they or their loved ones are receiving.

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