World Heart Day – Cholesterol Tracking

World Heart Day – Cholesterol Tracking

As it’s World Heart Day (Friday 29th September) we thought it would be interesting to reflect on the potential role of a smartphone in fighting cardiovascular disease and tracking cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol Tracking

With the current surge in wearables, fitness trackers and other well-being apps, as well as Apple’s highly publicised collaboration with Stanford Health on detecting atrial fibrillation using their Watch 3 – the potential for mobile technology to affect our cardiovascular health is obvious.

However, there are other ways in which mobile phone technology can enhance the utility of already well-established clinical products. Take the home cholesterol test, for example.  Lipid assays have been available over the counter for some time, but have never achieved the type of commercial success that had been widely predicted.

There are perhaps three main reasons for this:

  1. 1.They aren’t very user-friendly
    2.The result doesn’t have much meaning to the patient;
    3. Patients can’t see or feel the issue, so need to track the improvement


Smartphone Test Readers

It’s hard to imagine a technology that has been more successful at providing ease-of-use than our own smartphone. Extending that capability to read diagnostic tests, without adding additional hardware, is a specialism at Novarum DX – our market leading technology could be applied to many lipid tests available over the counter today.

Information about the risk associated with lipid levels is complex and confusing, further compounded by the use of different units in different locations. Researchers from a number of US Universities [1] reported some time ago that results were more powerful if they were translated into a personal risk factor, and by combining other inputs such as family history or lifestyle, this could easily be achieved on your personal device as well as providing you with a lasting record of the result.

A single test result for any condition is rarely as useful as being able to see the trend.  Moreover, in our social media conscious society, where we happily compete with friends and family on the number of steps we’ve taken, or report on the amount of weight we’ve lost – why wouldn’t we be just as keen to share our progress in bringing an invisible health indicator back under control?

The encouragement and motivation that social media can bring shouldn’t be underestimated and has the potential to bring lasting benefits, as well as encouraging product adoption.

Combined with activity monitors and diet recording apps, cholesterol tracking apps have the potential to impact how we perceive our cardiovascular health.

We hope you enjoyed our blog for World Heart Day 2017. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. If you would like to learn more about Novarum™ smartphone technology and the potential for cholesterol home testing, make an enquiry:

[1] Croyle, R. T., Loftus, E. F., Barger, S. D., Sun, Y.-C., Hart, M., & Gettig, J. (2006). How well do people recall risk factor test results? Accuracy and bias among cholesterol screening participants. Health Psychology, 25(3), 425-432.

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