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AtlantiCare RN develops smart phone app to help heart disease patients

Friday May 3, 2013
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Shannon Patel, RN, BA, CCRN, CMC, PCCN, manager of the heart failure program at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Galloway, N.J., and an RN-to-BSN student at the Rutgers School of NursingĖCamden (N.J.), led a team at the hospitalís Heart Institute that developed a new smart phone app that helps patients manage heart disease and stay out of the hospital.

The WOW ME 2000mg app helps patients, caregivers and family members identify and manage symptoms of heart failure, according to the release.

"This tool was designed to cross the healthcare continuum and has allowed our organization to deliver very important self-management education," Patel said in the release.

The WOW ME 2000mg app reminds patients to weigh themselves; measure their output of fluids; walk and be active; take their medications; evaluate signs and symptoms; and limit sodium intake to 2,000 mg or less, with 1,500 mg being optimal. The app prompts users with reminders and allows them to enter information about how they are managing their symptoms. It also links them with AtlantiCareís Heart Failure Resource Team and other providers. Patel said in the release that many heart failure programs around the country are struggling to find ways to successfully teach heart failure self-management techniques. She said there is no standardized approach to reinforcement of the information taught to patients and that oftentimes patients receive differing and conflicting information depending on where they go for treatment.

"This tool standardizes heart failure self-management for patients," Patel said in the release.

The app is based on a reference guide Patel developed with AtlantiCareís Heart Failure Resource Center and information technology team in 2010. It was released as a free downloadable iPhone app in January 2013. The team currently is developing the app for Android users.

Patel said in the release that the AtlantiCare team also is working on an upgraded version that will include a blood pressure tracker and heart rate tracker, as well as a place for patients to track their personal health goals. She said heart disease is a manageable condition and arming patients with the best information will help them be engaged in their care.

Download the free app at www.apple.com/itunes


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