The heart of the HeartMan system is a user-friendly mobile application that connects to various health devices, such as a wristband for unobtrusive monitoring of vital signs, wireless blood-pressure monitor and scales. It also connects to a computer cloud, where patient data will be stored under strict security and accessible to authorized physicians.
The application provides the best advice modern medicine can offer, with two special features:
- Use of predictive models: mathematical models that can predict under which conditions the patient's health or wellbeing is likely to get worse. When such conditions are detected, the application searchs for actions the patient can take in order to prevent the worsening.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps the patient improve his or her lifestyle. Since changing life-long habits is hard, people often need some push, which is what cognitive behavioural therapy does: it is a series of thought exercises and simple practical exercises that can change one's mindset. In the HeartMan system, this is delivered through the application with some help from a friend or relative.
To make sure the HeartMan system is truly designed for the patients, they are being involved from the start through human-centred design: The Heartman consortium is researching their problems and expectations, observing them in their everyday life, and involving them in making the actual prototypes. When the HeartMan system is ready to be used, we will test it in two trials in Belgium and Italy involving 120 patients.