Heart Health

Mobile App for Emergency Cardiac Care

When dealing with acute cardiovascular diseases, instant access to the best recommendations can save lives. This fact led the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) of the European Society for Cardiology (ESC) to develop a user friendly interactive application that lets healthcare professionals have immediate access to diagnostics pathways on their mobile devices.

The Toolkit on emergency cardiac care, first published as a pocket-sized manual, is helping practitioners across the globe to make the best decisions in seconds. The Toolkit was created by expert members of ACCA and can be downloaded here.

A release from ESC quotes Professor Héctor Bueno, President Elect and Acting President of ACCA and Editor in Chief of the Toolkit, as saying, “We have created the first tool to help all healthcare professionals who treat patients with acute cardiovascular syndromes to make the correct decisions fast.”

Dr Pascal Vranckx, Associate Editor of the Toolkit, said, “The Toolkit has been enormously successful. To date, 12 500 clinicians have received the pocket version and 15,000 copies have been downloaded from the ESC website. Clinicians tell us that it is now the tool to use in daily practice.”

The Toolkit is based on ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines(1-5) and was written by European experts and opinion leaders in acute cardiovascular care. The seven chapters cover symptoms (chest pain, dyspnea, syncope), acute coronary syndromes, acute heart failure, cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), rhythm disturbances, acute vascular syndromes, and acute myocardial/pericardial syndromes.
During ACCA’s annual summit on pre-hospital care in April 2014, delegates cited the numerous benefits of using the Toolkit in their daily practice treating emergency cardiac patients. Dr Vaya Agladze from Tbilisi, Georgia, said: “The ACCA Toolkit will help us save lives, which is the main goal of doctors in every country. The charts and tables clearly show the treatment a patient needs and are a quick guide for paramedics in ambulances, doctors and nurses in emergency rooms, and cardiologists.”

Dr Zaza Iakobishvili from Petah Tikva, Israel, said, “Half of our patients are transferred by ambulance with paramedics who may be unsure if they are facing a real cardiac emergency or not. The Toolkit is a tremendous resource in these cases, shortening delays in making a correct diagnosis and ensuring that patients get appropriate treatment fast.”

Dr Sofie Gevaert from Gent, Belgium, said, “All of the essential messages are in the Toolkit, which deals with the whole spectrum of acute cardiac care, from patient symptoms to providing the right diagnosis and treatment. This makes it great for teaching young doctors. We also use it to brief non-cardiac physicians in emergency and intensive care on how to provide the best standard of care for acute cardiac patients.”

Professor Helmy Elghawaby from Cairo, Egypt, said, “By using the Toolkit we are ensuring that our whole emergency cardiac care team, which includes paramedics in the ambulance, doctors and nurses in the emergency room, and cardiologists, are providing the same high quality care. Everyone in the team carries one in their pocket and it takes just seconds to consult the tables and treatment algorithms.”

Professor Bueno said, “The mobile app can be used on smartphones and tablets. We plan to translate the Toolkit into other languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Russian, making it accessible to an even greater number of professionals involved in acute cardiovascular care. A second edition is on the way with additional chapters addressing other relevant questions that occur in acute cardiovascular care settings.”

Dr Vranckx said, “We will update the Toolkit each year as the guidelines incorporate new scientific evidence. This process will be made easier with the app. In this way we will ensure that the Toolkit always provides the most appropriate information to help clinicians in their daily practice.”

Professor Bueno concluded, “Our main goal is to help standardise quality of care for acute cardiac patients in Europe in the prehospital phase and across hospital departments. Clinicians say the Toolkit assists them in the field and the additions, updates and app should make it even more useful.”

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