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Engagement of atrial fibrillation patients with the AF-EduApp, a new mobile application to support AF management

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Introduction: A multidisciplinary approach is needed for the management of atrial fibrillation (AF) in which the patient has a central role. Smart devices create opportunities to improve AF management. This paper aimed to evaluate the in-house developed AF-EduApp application on its usability, satisfaction, and communication effectiveness with the care team.Methods: During a multicenter, prospective randomized controlled trial, 153 AF patients were included in the AF-EduApp study, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months and a maximum follow-up of 15 months if taking oral anticoagulation (OAC). The AF-EduApp contains six main modules: Questionnaires, Education, Measurement data entry, Medication overview with reminders, Appointments, and Communication with the care team. The App focuses on four main goals: (1) to improve AF knowledge, (2) to increase self-care capabilities, (3) electronic monitoring to improve therapy adherence to OAC, and (4) communication with the care team. Patients unable to use the AF-EduApp were assigned to a no-App control group (n = 41) without intervention comparable to the standard care group (SC, n = 346) of the AF-EduCare study.Results: A total of 152 patients effectively used the App during a mean follow-up of 386.8 +/- 108. 1 days (one included patient could not install the application due to an iPhone from the United States). They opened the application on average on 130.1 +/- 144.7 days. Of the 109 patients still in follow-up after 12 months (i.e. patients who did not withdraw and on OAC), 90 patients (82.6%) actively used the application at least one day in the next 41 days. The Measurement module was the most used, with a median of used days over the total available days of 6.4%. A total of 75 App patients (49.3%) asked questions, mostly clinical-related questions (e.g. medication use, or actionability on clinical entered parameters). A mean score of 8.1 +/- 1.7 about the "perceived quality of follow-up in the past year" was given by the App ITT patients, compared to a score of 7.7 +/- 2.0 by the SC group (P = .072). Patients who used the App were more attracted to future follow-up with an application compared to patients who would be capable of using the application of the SC group (31.6% vs. 12.5%; P < .001).Conclusion: This study showed a positive attitude towards using a mobile application, with AF patients using the application one-third of the available days. Patients used the App most for entering measured parameters, and to contact the care team.
Journal: Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
ISSN: 2297-055X
Volume: 10
Publication year:2023
Keywords:atrial fibrillation, mHealth, mobile application, integrated care, education
Accessibility:Open