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Mobile rehabilitation of heart patients

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Scientists are in the final stages of launching a mobile phone with a miniature heart monitor and a GPS device that would help keep track of rehabilitation of patients thousands of kilometres away. “The programme allows people who have been in hospital for a heart attack or heart surgery to undergo a six-week walking exercise rehabilitation programme wherever it’s convenient, while having their heart signal, location and speed monitored in real time,” said Dr Charles Worringham of Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. The ‘Cardiomobile’ system works by the patient attaching to their chests a mini ECG (electrocardiogram or heart signal) monitor and wearing a cap with a lightweight GPS receiver, both connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth. “Patients phone in at the start of their scheduled session and then their heart signal, location, speed and gradient are monitored in real-time over the web by a qualified exercise scientist, who guides the patient’s programme and checks their progress,” Dr Worringham was quoted as saying by the Science Daily online. He said if there is any problem with the heart signal we can immediately contact the patient, and consult with the cardiologist if needed. “If this approach works, it could go a long way towards assisting the recovery of heart patients not reached by conventional rehabilitation, and help to cut the number of avoidable re-admissions to hospital,” Dr Worringham stressed. The unique ‘Cardiomobile’ monitoring system, which has been developed by Gold Coast company Alive Technologies, is being further developed and trialled.

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