Pay heed to the heart
With Covid-19 presenting several health complications, taking care of the heart has become paramount now more than ever before
Dr. Ranjith M.
Specialist Cardiovascular Diseases, Ahalia Hospital
Today is World Heart Day. There are all sorts of ‘world’ days for us to celebrate but other than a few, nothing comes close to the significance of World Heart Day.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, resulting in 18.6 million deaths a year. Its high incidence results from the prevalence of risk factors like a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These risk factors have also become more common among young adults in the country, including young women.
World Heart Day is observed every year on September 29. The theme for World Heart Day 2021 is ‘Use Heart Connect’.
The Covid-19 pandemic became a challenge to CVD patients; they are more at risk of developing severe forms of the illness. Many have been afraid to attend routine and emergency appointments, and have become isolated from friends and family.
The healthcare crisis we have all been living through has highlighted an urgent need to find different and innovative ways to connect people to heart health, particularly in lower resource areas and communities.
Recent advances in digital health technologies including electronic and mobile health platforms (eHealth and mHealth), telemedicine, wearable devices, sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) provide opportunities to improve access to and delivery of healthcare.
Digital health services currently employ the use of digital technologies for the provision of health education and awareness (i.e. text messaging), remote monitoring and support (i.e. telerehabilitation), disease prediction (i.e. AI), and vital signs monitoring (i.e. wearable devices).
Digital technologies offer significant opportunities for CVD prevention by promoting lifestyle change and adherence to healthy behaviours, early diagnosis, individualised management/supportive care and clinical decision support.
Harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of CVD globally is our goal for World Heart Day 2021. Telehealth has a huge role to play as we continue to use the heart to beat CVD.
Use Heart To Connect is about using your knowledge, compassion and influence to make sure you, your loved ones and the communities you’re part of having the best chance to live heart-healthy lives. It’s about connecting with our hearts, making sure we’re fuelling and nurturing them as best we can, and using the power of digital to connect every heart, everywhere.
Dr. Ranjith M. is a Specialist — Cardiovascular Diseases at Ahalia Hospital.
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