Seeing Red for Heart Health

February 3, 2013
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According to the caption, “heart disease still kills more women than all cancers combined”.  And in celebration of National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association (AHA) wants to know how you will make a difference?   Poor heart health can lead to congestive heart failure, one of the leading chronic illnesses estimated to represent 75 percent of th

According to the caption, “heart disease still kills more women than all cancers combined”.  And in celebration of National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association (AHA) wants to know how you will make a difference?   Poor heart health can lead to congestive heart failure, one of the leading chronic illnesses estimated to represent 75 percent of the $2 trillion in U.S. annual health care spending.

Current healthcare delivery systems developed around acute visits and crisis management have not been successful in meeting chronic disease care needs. Based on brief and infrequent patient-provider interactions, these models do not provide the sustained support necessary to maintain the healthy lifestyle changes critical to prevention and management of chronic diseases. To better meet the needs of these individuals, care systems must explore new ways to define collaborative care for living well with chronic disease.

Partnering with local and national non-profit organizations has, and will continue, to offer avenues for awareness, education and prevention.  The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign- described as a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health – reflects this opportunity.  Not only does it challenge women to know their risk for heart disease, but it also encourages women to utilize AHA tools to take action for personal risk reduction.

According to the AHA Go Red For Women website, the group turns science into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision-makers can use to help women. Great idea, wouldn’t you agree?  Now, after seeing the article outlining Heritage Health’s interest in working with UCLA and Open mHealth, I am wondering if there isn’t an opportunity to collaborate on production of a chronic disease app?  At the very least, a Go Red For Women mobile app could deliver a personal heart health dashboard, as well as, messaging and alerts regarding symptoms, diet, exercise, lifestyle and AHA events.

With funds raised by Go Red For Women supporting educational programs, increasing women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease and supporting research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health, this seems perfectly APPropriate to me.

 

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