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Remotely supervised exercise training for heart failure

Dr Jonathan Rawstorn, Institution: Deakin University

2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2020-2021


For people with heart failure, exercise rehabilitation improves quality of life, reduces admissions to hospital, and saves lives. However, its potential impact hasn’t been fully realised because too few people can access traditional face-to-face programs in hospitals and rehabilitation centres. Digital technologies can overcome several key reasons that stop people from participating in exercise rehabilitation by remotely connecting them with exercise specialists, who are able to provide real-time supervision and coaching support throughout exercise training. Remotely delivered exercise programs improve health and save money when delivered to people who have had a heart attack, but this type of program has not been designed for the specific needs of people with heart failure.    

This research will adapt our own proven coronary heart disease digital technology platform to meet the needs of remotely delivering real-time individualised exercise supervision and coaching to people with heart failure. Exercise rehabilitation participants and practitioners (i.e. people who deliver exercise rehabilitation programs) will be closely involved in this research to ensure the digital technology platform is suitable for their needs.   We’ll ask 50 people with heart failure to complete an 8-week program of remotely delivered exercise training using the heart failure-specific digital technology platform. Changes in people’s fitness level, heart function, health status after the program will tell us if it’s safe and effective. Program costs and peoples’ feedback about completing the program will tell us whether it’s affordable, and how many people would like hospitals make this program available for anyone heart failure to choose if they can’t attend face-to-face exercise programs.

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