BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of transitional care services for patients discharged from hospital after acute heart failure is challenging, especially in terms of reducing subsequent heart failure hospitalizations. The increased adoption of smartphone applications in society offers a new opportunity to interact with patients to avoid rehospitalization. Thus, electronic health (e-health) can enhance the impact of existing therapeutic education programmes.
AIMS: To determine the prevalence of smartphone use among patients with chronic heart failure, and to assess the epidemiological characteristics and therapeutic management of these patients, with a broader aim of developing smartphone-based therapeutic education programmes for patients.
METHODS: The French Observatoire français de l'insuffisance cardiaque et du sel (OFICSel) registry was conducted in 2017 by 300 cardiologists, and included both inpatients and outpatients who had been hospitalized for heart failure at least once in the previous 5 years. Data collection included demographic and heart failure-related variables, which were provided by the cardiologist and by the patient via a questionnaire.
RESULTS: Among the 2822 patients included, 2517 completed the questionnaire. Of this total, 907 patients (36%) were smartphone users. Compared with non-users, smartphone users were younger, were more frequently men, more frequently lived in cities, had a higher educational level and were more frequently professionally active. Smartphone users less frequently had diabetes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation or ischaemic cardiopathy. Only 22% of patients were actively participating in a therapeutic education programme.
CONCLUSION: Smartphones were used by more than one-third of patients with heart failure in France in 2017, underscoring the feasibility of developing a smartphone application to deliver therapeutic education to the population with chronic heart failure.