Physical health work

Cardiac rehab reaching further

Date published

10 Mar 2021

A state-wide agreement with Cardihab and the Tasmanian Department of Health will see Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania provide digital cardiac rehabilitation services that connect to public hospitals across the state as enhancement to its long-running Prime Mover Program.

Cardihab is a landmark Australian digital health platform that facilitates the virtual delivery of cardiac rehabilitation services for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease.

Cardihab Chief Executive Officer Helen Souris said Cardihab presented a solution that could improve access to critical cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease in Tasmania, particularly those in regional and remote areas.

Patients complete the virtual program using the Cardihab app remotely while under clinical supervision by qualified healthcare professionals. Supported by weekly phone or video consultations from their clinician, patients can benefit from the convenience of technology enabled care from their home.

“Using the Cardihab platform to manage their cardiovascular disease and prevent cardiac events, patients under the care of clinical staff can continue to receive high-quality support virtually from the convenience of their home,” Ms Souris said.

“It is an ideal solution for people whose busy lives prohibit them from attending traditional face-to-face clinics, people living in remote areas, patients who are less mobile and throughout COVID-19.”

Ms Souris said Cardihab’s clinically validated solution provided an important solution to addressing heart disease, the leading cause of death in Tasmania.

“Cardihab increases patient care delivery options, enables clinical professionals to deliver service efficiently and safeguards patients and clinicians from the risks of COVID-19,” she said.

Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania Chief Executive Officer John Kirwan said that Cardihab will build on the success of its Prime Mover Phase III heart/lung rehabilitation service – also supported by funding from Primary Health Tasmania under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks Program - and reinforce its primary health care team’s focus on evidence-based e-health.

“We measure success in many ways, such as reducing unplanned re-admissions to hospital, increased life expectancy for patients, reduced burden on paramedics and emergency departments and enabling people to continue working and contributing economically to their family and society,” Mr Kirwan said.

“But it’s mainly about an individual’s quality of life when they undertake successful rehabilitation – the reduction in stress and fear of triggering another life-threatening event and the positive path back to good health.

“Cardihab will allow our staff to assist our clients in the most remote and rural areas by creating increased access and options for those who would ignore rehab due to barriers of time, cost and distance.”

Patient using the app

What is the Prime Mover Program?

Prime Mover is an exercise and educational based therapy program developed by RFDS Tasmania's primary health care team.

It is designed for people living in rural and remote areas with stable heart and lung conditions.

The aim of the program is for participants to return to an active and satisfying life, and help prevent the occurrence of cardiac and pulmonary events.

It involves a team of physical health workers, exercise physiologists and physiotherapists, often employed from the area in which they work, conducting one-on-one consultations, group exercise sessions and education to support individuals living with chronic conditions.

Not only does the RFDS provide exercise therapy and lifestyle management support, but it identifies any potential limitations to physical activity and explores appropriate referral pathways.

If you would like to find out more please contact Judah Morris on 0438 024 544