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Student Develops Heart Health Management Smartphone App

WOW ME 2000mg main screen (AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center)

WOW ME 2000mg main screen (AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center)

An undergraduate student at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey led the development of a smartphone app to help heart patients prevent and manage heart failure. Shannon Patel, a registered nurse at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey and bachelor of science candidate at Rutgers-Camden, led the team that developed the app.

Patel and colleagues developed the WOW ME 2000mg app to help heart patients, caregives, and family members identify and manage symptoms of heart failure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heart failure affects some 5.7 million people in the U.S. and is the cause of 55,000 deaths each year.

The name WOW ME 2000mg is  a complex acronym derived from a basic set of instructions for heart patients contained in the app:

– Weigh themselves
– Measure their Output of fluids
– Walk/be active
– Take their Medications appropriately
– Evaluate signs and symptoms, and
– Limit salt to 2,000 mg or less, with 1,500 mg being optimal

The app offers patients reminders and allows them to enter information about their management of symptoms. It also connects patients to AtlantiCare’s Heart Failure Resource team and other health care providers.

Patel, who is AtlantiCare Heart Failure Program manager, led the team that developed the tool from a reference guide published by the medical center’s Heart Failure Resource Center. Atlanticare says the resource guide on which the app is based helped reduce the total volume of heart failure-related admissions to the hospital and cut readmissions within 30 days of discharge for heart failure and other reasons.

The teams’s clinicians and information technology experts created the virtual version of the tool in 2011 and 2012. Field tests with with physicians and other clinicians took place in 2012 and WOW ME 2000mg has been available as a free app from Apple since January 2013. An Android version is in development.

Patel says the app helps standardize guidance for heart failure patients, reduce omissions and conflicting instructions. An upgraded version of the app, now in development, promises to include a blood pressure tracker and heart rate tracker, as well as a place for patients to track their personal health goals.

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