Helping congestive heart failure patients avoid rehospitalization

feature-image-SMILE-studyWhen fluid builds up in the lungs of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), medical intervention is often needed. But by the time symptoms such as shortness of breath or increased fatigue are present, patients may need to be rehospitalized. Not only is that stressful for the patient, it’s also costly.

In search of a better method of diagnosis and treatment, MHIF is participating in the SMILE (Sensible Medical Innovations Lung fLuid status monitor allows rEducing readmission rate of heart failure patients) study. Led at MHIF by Dr. Peter Eckman, the study will focus on the wearable SensiVest.

In the study, the SensiVest is worn by CHF patients for 90 seconds, once a day, to measure the amount of fluid in their lungs. The results are provided to their physician via a secure web portal. The patient does not need to visit a clinic or hospital to obtain readings, and the physician can review the results and take proactive measures, such as changing medications or dosages, before the patient develops symptoms.

“Using noninvasive technology to detect fluid buildup in heart failure patients improves our ability to direct treatment before a problem arises, and may reduce risk of rehospitalization, which is good for the patient and can reduce health care costs,” Dr. Eckman said. “We are excited to be part of this type of innovative work.”

Read more about the SMILE study here.