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Mobile Geolocation Technology to Improve Multidisciplinary Care of Patients With Ventricular Assist Devices

A Feasibility Study

DeFilippis, Ersilia M., MD*,†; Safavi, Kyan, MD, MBA†,‡; Reyes, Jahir*,†; Coakley, Lara, NP*,†; Hickey, Maryclare, RN*,†; Givertz, Michael M., MD*,†

Critical Pathways in Cardiology: March 2019 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 47–50
doi: 10.1097/HPC.0000000000000160
Original Articles

We evaluated the feasibility of a mobile phone–based geolocation technology in patients with ventricular assist devices (VAD). We prospectively enrolled VAD patients with a smartphone for 6 months. A proprietary mobile technology platform (Position Health, Reading, MA) was downloaded onto Apple or Android smartphones. When a patient entered an emergency department, the app was activated and a “ping” with patient location and contact information was sent to our VAD team pager. Fifty-four patients were approached, and 21 were enrolled. The primary reason for nonenrollment was lack of smartphone (46%). The technology was active for 3780 patient-days and activated on 4 occasions, all cases in which patients were inside a hospital but not seeking emergency care. When surveyed at 3 and 6 months, 90% and 100% of patients, respectively, reported the app remained active on their phones; 14 of 18 (78%) reported the app was helpful and gave them additional reassurance. Implementing this technology for VAD patients was feasible and accepted by patients and providers, but a larger study is needed to demonstrate an impact on care delivery.

From the *Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Received for publication April 23, 2018; accepted June 24, 2018.

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Reprints: Michael M. Givertz, MD, Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:

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