South Korea’s Samsung Electronics recently revealed the results of a joint cardiac rehabilitation initiative, developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, the largest not-for-profit integrated health system in America.
Samsung and Kaiser Permanente collaborated to bring a home-based cardiac rehabilitation solution that is demonstrating promising results for better patient outcomes based on results and details that were published last week in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Catalyst.
The results of the program, chronicled in the NEJM article, showed significant improvements over traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs. While the U.S. national average hospital readmission rate for these conditions is approximately 10% - 15%, participating program patients experienced a readmission rate of less than 2%. The program achieved an 87% patient completion rate, which is a 74% improvement over centre-based rehabilitation programs.
A digital-first approach
“This program took a fresh, digital-first approach to cardiac rehabilitation and put control in patients’ hands,” said Peter Koo, corporate SVP and head of the health service team, mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics. “It produced higher program completion rates than programs requiring excessive trips to the doctor’s office.”
The Kaiser Permanente program, according to the NEJM article, enrolled more than 2,300 patients and more than 80% of the program’s participants completed the program, compared with a national average of less than 50% completion. Kaiser Permanente is now evaluating expansion of the program beyond Southern California.
The program clearly demonstrated the potential of digital healthcare at-scale. The solution paired commercially available Samsung smartwatches that have built-in optical sensors – Gear S3 and Galaxy Watch, with the Samsung’s HeartWise1 application to track each patient’s daily heart rate and activities. A report of patients’ activities was logged directly to their physician’s dashboard used to set exercise goals and monitor patients’ progress.
“Our legacy in devices enables us to deeply understand users' needs and develop best-in-class hardware to address them. We are committed to delivering comprehensive health, wellness and fitness solutions that give users a more personalized and insightful experience,” Koo said.
For its program with Kaiser Permanente, Samsung took a human-centred design approach.
“We began by examining the problem through the lens of our users, and then built a digital solution to fit the needs of our users,” Koo said. “Bringing together wellness, engineering and user experience minds enabled us to address this problem with a fresh perspective, and produce an innovative, secure and engaging user-centric solution.”