Tasmanians living with heart disease will soon be able to rehabilitate from cardiac episodes virtually in an Australian-first deal with a state government.
Digital health group Cardihab has struck an agreement with Tasmania's health department and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to roll out its platform in public hospitals across the state.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Tasmania, with the fatality rate for the condition higher than the national average by 9.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
In 2019, Royal Flying Doctor Service researchers found remote Australians are also 1.6 times more likely to be hospitalised for coronary heart disease than city dwellers, and 1.3 times more likely to die.
The RFDS posits that four out of five premature cardiac disease deaths could be avoided if cardiac rehabilitation services were made available in the bush.
With thousands living in rural and remote areas on the Apple Isle, the technology will give Tasmanians recovering from cardiac events the option to carry out their treatment from home.
"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," Cardihab chief executive Helen Souris said.
The health service is delivered through the Cardihab app under clinical supervision and includes weekly phone or video consultations.
John Kirwan, chief executive of the RFDS in Tasmania, said it would create increased access and options for "those who would ignore rehab due to barriers of time, cost and distance".
Australian Associated Press