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Technology and the general use of computer informatics is a trend that is slowly changing the diagnosis, treatment and management of various diseases. This paper is a literature review aimed at assessing various articles and what different authors say regarding the use of health-related applications, especially in the management of heart diseases. The text will conduct a systematic review that determines the role played by technology in the management of heart diseases.
In the recent past, various software applications have emerged in an attempt to lower the number of deaths related to heart diseases. Technological companies have strongly come out to partner with medical institutions in the fight against heart diseases. In an article written by Talmor et al., (2018), the authors highlight the various strides made by software applications to improve health, especially when it comes to management of heart diseases. Due to its association with high rates of mortality, heart diseases call for widespread research, and technological application to manage the illness. According to Ciorap and others (2010), home monitoring, hearth rate checkers, and remote surveillance applications remain the greatest technological improvements, as far as heart disease management is concerned. Through the monitoring of hearth diseases, the software applications have made it possible for cardiovascular experts to research and develop technological innovations that help heart disease patient manage their condition.
There are various health-related applications that help patients cope and manage their varied cardiovascular diseases. Rana and his colleagues (2016) highlight the use of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCD) risk estimator as one of the greatest health applications directed towards the management of atherosclerosis. The health application uses various metrics, involving age, life habits, weight, and even blood pressure to ascertain an individual’s susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Although the ASCD application has enhanced the management of atherosclerosis, there remain various gaps on research based on the efficacy of the gadget in ascertaining the risk factors associated with the illness. The application does not have the ability to highlight the specific health choices or mistakes that lead to the manifestation of the disease, making it difficult for users to avoid risk factors. Racette and others (2015) credit the reduction of heart attacks to the use of the heart rate monitor application, which tends to alert users on any spikes in their heart beat. As such, it becomes easy to seek early medical intervention before an actual heart attack can occur. The only gap remaining in the heart rate monitor research is the specifics of a potential heart attack. In some instances, although the monitor may go off, it is too late to save a life, making it obsolete as far as saving lives is concerned. The instant blood pressure companion Smartphone application is also another advancement used in the monitoring of people’s blood pressure. According to Plante and others (2016), the application helps individuals suffering from either low or high blood pressure to monitor their hearts in an attempt to prevent any complications. Despite the important role played by the application in monitoring blood pressure, the research does not separate physical activity from body reactions, as such; it becomes difficult for the user to rely on the app, especially for individuals who love fitness.
There are numerous heart diseases affecting the modern populace, citing the deterioration of healthy lifestyles and eating habits. According to Virtanen and others (2012) the age group between the ages of 25-40 remains at the highest risk, due to their modern lifestyle that is devoid of exercise and healthy foods. As a matter of fact, Gungor and others (2005) highlight the issue of obesity and onset of diabetes as indicator signs of possible manifestation of heart conditions in present day youth. Instead of settling for healthy eating and lifestyles, the micro-wave generation that opts for instant solutions prefers fast foods, which are heart disease causatives to the traditional healthy meals. Unlike in the past when people walked and ran for long distances, the coming of technology necessitates youths to spend long hours sitting, a lifestyle that inhibits heart activity and heightens the chances of developing low or high blood pressure, selectively.
Atherosclerosis is and remains one of the heart diseases that affects most youth within the mentioned age gap, due to high consumption of fatty foods that in turn end up blocking arteries and veins. It is the narrowing of the arteries and veins, caused by intake of high levels of cholesterol and fatty foods that results in the development of atherosclerosis in young people. In the past, heart attacks were a reserve for the elderly. According to Hbejan (2011) smoking is a risk factor that makes it possible for individuals in their twenties and thirties to suffer heart attacks. Instead of affecting the old, heart attacks are now more prevalent in the youthful; generation than ever. Smoking, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise, are all linked to early onset of heart attacks in youths. According to Anyaegbu and Dharnidharka (2014) hypertension is also another heart-related disease that affects the young, although it initially affected people of the elderly age. Characterized by abnormally high blood pressure, hypertension affects a large number of not only youth but also teenagers, because of their poor eating habits, which include high levels of salt.
Although Lynch and other (2006) claim that most heart issues in elderly are a result of aging, the authors fault the youth for their poor lifestyle choices, most of which account for the development of cardiovascular illnesses, at a very early age. The bets and easiest way to manage heart diseases in youths is the adoption of a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Despite the spread of electronic and mobile health technology, the use of the innovation remains a challenge for most people. E-health literacy is one of the factors affecting the use of health applications. According to a research study conducted by Zayyad and Toycan (2018) e-health literacy, health consciousness, and health application efficacy include some of the factors that affect the sustainable adoption and use of health applications. Most individuals lack the technological know-how and medical health curiosity and knowledge required to operate the health applications. Although the article highlights the challenges associated with the use of health applications, nowhere in the text do the authors recommend remedial measure to improve the use and operation of the technology.
There are various theories that direct the design, adoption, and use of health applications in managing illnesses. Khare and others (2017) identify machine learning theory as one of the most important aspects when it comes to the use of health applications. The theory advocates for the use of artificial intelligence to help individual learn how to use programmed technologies, especially those used in medical advancements. In fact, machine learning theory provides the solution to the challenges of e-health literacy. Through machine learning, users gain the knowledge not only to operate health-related applications but also to decide and understand their health status at every given time.
Machine learning goes beyond the mere know-how of technological operations. Instead, it also involves the active use and implementation of computer commands and programs essential for computer and technology literacy. Review of existing MethodologiesThe design and application of m-health and e-health methodologies varies depending on the nature and severity of the disease in discussion. Design Science research (DSR) methodologies remain the focal point when it comes to health applications. According to Geerts (2011), it is thanks to DSR methodologies that experts can use informatics in medical processes, especially those directed towards the design and development of health-related applications. Carter (2000) terms the use of health applications as one way of implementing evidence-based research in the analysis and evaluation of various illnesses, especially those that affect the heart. It is the complexity and concealed nature of the heart that makes it difficult to understand the organ. However, the various heart monitoring gadgets and applications make it easier for cardiovascular experts to gain a better understanding of the all-important body organ, the heart.
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