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Heartbeat: Highlights from this issue
  1. Antonio Luiz Ribeiro,
  2. Catherine M Otto

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Information and communication technology (ICT) has been reported as a useful tool in providing better and cheaper health care, but evidence supporting this statement is scarce. The Editor's choice in this issue of Heart is a randomized trial by Varnfield and colleagues (see page 1770) showing that an ICT-based strategy can improve the use and the efficacy of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs after myocardial infarction (MI). CR is a well-established therapy in post-MI patients and reduces both morbidity and mortality, but it is typically underused (<20% of patients). Logistic challenges (lack of time, transportation or geographical access) and competing life demands (as return to work) are the main causes of low CR usage. The ICT-based strategy used to overcome these barriers allows both health and exercise monitoring and delivery of motivational and educational material, using smart phones and a web portal. Their results are impressive: beyond providing similar improvements in 6-minute walk-test performance, the ICT-based strategy showed superior results …

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