IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques


06/07/2016 - Press release

System developed for self-management of cardiovascular risk

The Mar Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), the Primary Healthcare Research Support Unit in Girona (IDIAP Jordi Gol) and the Institute of Biomedical Research in Girona (IdIBGi) are all collaborating in the study

ICS Girona primary healthcare is carrying out a cardiovascular risk self-screening study (ACRISC), in which a thousand people are participating, for the self-management of cardiovascular disease risk. Through software developed specifically for this project, the users take part in the collection and processing of their health data (e.g., blood pressure, lipid profile, weight, and eating habits) and the system, based on the principles of empowerment and interactivity, offers each person tailor-made recommendations, particularly with regard to their diet and physical activity.

The study is a collaboration between the Mar Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), the Primary Healthcare Research Support Unit in Girona (IDIAP Jordi Gol) and the Institute of Biomedical Research in Girona (IdIBGi). The first patients, who have been taking part since March and who are aged between 35 and 74, are from the EAP Montilivi and it is expected that they will soon be joined by further participants from the EAP Celrà, to provide profiles of both urban and rural populations.

Maria Grau from the IMIM is the principal investigator in this study that will last two years and which involves a method of cardiovascular risk management that until now was only undertaken by family doctors. The aim is to see whether the level of risk in this innovative technique is the same as that obtained through normal data processing methods.

For the study, each day two nurses receive patient volunteers who answer questions using a tablet-like device. The patients record their blood pressure, weight and, supervised by the nurses, do a blood capillary analysis. This information is incorporated into the project's management programme via Bluetooth and, once processed, the system produces preventive recommendations adapted to each user's characteristics.

The people responsible for the project clinically validate the results from this cardiovascular risk self-screening device, with the ultimate goal of knowing whether personalised advice has a positive effect on the control of cardiovascular risk factors.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the developed world. Although the majority of people who are affected are over 65, it has been shown that the emergence of these diseases is determined by prolonged exposure to risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. It is therefore important to put across a preventive message, based on the development of healthy lifestyles and the control of risk factors in asymptomatic and relatively young people.

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