Can Reducing Cardiovascular Disease be as Simple as a Text Message?

Cardiovascular disease is one of the top killers in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 17.5 million people died from Cardiovascular Disease in 2012. That represents 31 per cent of all global deaths for that year. It is the number one cause of death, more people die each year from CVD than any other cause. What if we can use technology to help improve cardiovascular health? That is exactly what George Clinical  is doing with their latest application called TEXTCARE, developed after years of research on this ever-important subject.

Reducing Cardiovascular Disease
Image by Mysha Islam

What is Cardiovascular Disease

The World Health Organization defines cardiovascular disease (CVD) as a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels including:

  • coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
  • peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
  • rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth;
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

Heart attacks and strokes are acute results of cardiovascular disease but the usual cause of them are due to the presence of a combination of risk factors including tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidaemia. However, that is where George Clinical’s TEXTCARE application comes in because quitting smoking, reducing salt intake, avoiding harmful use of alcohol while increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet can all help reverse the effects of cardiovascular disease and prevent heart attack and stroke.

How Can TEXTCARE Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease?

TEXTCARE is a personalised text messaging support program offers help for users suffering from a number of different chronic diseases. The app has a complex algorithm that delivers SMS (text messages) with reminders that encourage users to take prescribed medications, eat healthier, exercise more, or stop smoking. The messages can be personalised and customised to fit each user. Director of the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute, Professor Clara Chow is quoted as saying, “The types of chronic diseases that TEXTCARE will help erase include heart attack, stroke, and illnesses that come about as a result of not taking care of ourselves but are completely preventable. TEXTCARE is actually a simple solution to this very complex healthcare problem and can help millions of people around the world.”  Of course, there is an urgent need for this type of help because of the large number of people all over the world affected by chronic diseases. After years of research surrounding the different types of messaging combinations and the reactions, TEXTCARE is ready to begin helping those who can benefit from these type of digital medical health reminders, and start improving the health of.

The Research Behind TEXTCARE

Research shows how TEXTCARE messaging helped to improve study participants’ health with the reminders that can prompt lifestyle changes. Here are some of the research results and metrics:

People who participated in the study and received text messages were:

  • 1.4 times more likely to exercise.
  • 44 per cent more likely to control their blood pressure
  • 33 per cent more likely to quit smoking
  • Twice as likely to take their prescribed medications correctly.

Because of TEXTCARE’s positive results in studies with patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, the application’s programming is set to expand and include COPD and asthma. The application is also set to be launched in more countries.

About George Clinical

In 2007, The George Institute for Global Health launched George Clinical, a leading contract research organisation (CRO) in Asia. George Clinical is the first and largest commercial enterprise from the institute. George Clinical is headquartered in Sydney, Australia but has operational hubs in ten other countries. George Clinical delivers the full-range of clinical trial services across all trial phases and in a variety of therapeutic specializations. George Clinical has contributed directly to several landmark clinical trials, the results of which have changed clinical practice. This grant will bring The George Institute for Global Health much closer to reaching even more people all over the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *