Nowadays there are smartphone apps for everything. Although there are many very useful ones, most of them are pretty much unnecessary. However, now scientists from the University of Sydney have created a simple app, which can help preventing heart attacks.
Of course, there is no way a smartphone app can magically save people’s lives by itself. On the other hand, it can provide some useful information and really contribute to lowering the risk of getting a heart attack. This game-based app, which was recently developed and presented, is aimed specifically at people who have already suffered a cardiac event. The reason why scientists decided to develop an app for them is that very little people choose to attend prevention programs, which are a key part of cardiac rehabilitation. If people are not coming to the programs, program will come to people.
This app, called MyHeartMate app, is a fun, playful way to independently get all the information people get in these programs for past patients. It is important, because studies showed that participation in prevention programs does help reducing the risk of subsequent cardiac events. In this game users are invited to take care of a ‘virtual heart’ and to participate in real world challenges, which keep the virtual heart healthy while giving good exercise to the real one too.
This game includes some interactive games, quizzes and challenges. They are aimed at improving physical activity and diet, while still being fun as usual games are. MyHeartMate app also helps keeping track of medications, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Professor Gemma Figtree, senior investigator of the project, said: “Although elements of gamification have been incorporated into heart health apps in the past, MyHeartMate is the first to fully integrate evidence-based real-world challenges with a digital game”.
MyHeartMate app is a fun way to get the benefits of recovery programs. Although it is still advised to have regular consultations with an actual doctor, using this game-based app is certainly beneficial.