Cardiovascular Study Gets Approval from the American Heart Association

UCSF’s Health eHeart Study called ‘innovative’ by AHA president

UC San Francisco’s Health eHeart Study – an ambitious technology-based cardiovascular research study – has garnered the support from the American Heart Association, the largest U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to reducing disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke.

This UCSF-developed study – funded in part by the Salesforce.com Foundation – harnesses the power of online and mobile technology to gather cardiovascular data from study participants through devices such as smartphone apps, ECG smartphone cases and portable blood pressure cuffs.

In less than nine months since its March 2013 launch, the study has already enrolled more than 5,000 people, a feat that would take several years to achieve in traditional clinical research studies. The goal is to enroll 1 million participants from all over the world.

“In my 30-year career as a researcher and physician, I've never seen a study as innovative as the Heart eHealth Study,” said Elliott Antman, MD, president-elect of the American Heart Association and co-chair of the study’s Scientific Advisory Committee. “The most up-to-date digital technology is the latest weapon in our battle against these two diseases and I believe this could change how we try to prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as treat those conditions when they occur.”

The Health eHeart Study is led by three UCSF faculty members: Jeffrey Olgin, MD, chief of UCSF’s Division of Cardiology; Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, director of clinical research for UCSF’s Division of Cardiology; and Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH, director of research consultation at UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Research Institute and a cardiovascular epidemiologist.

“Collecting this data faster — and cheaper — means we may be able to more readily put into practice what we learn,” Olgin said. “We can make quick adjustments in our initiatives as needed and ultimately make significant impacts in saving lives.”

A major goal of the Health eHeart Study is to health care delivery more precise. The study allows participants to submit data via a secure online survey and uses smartphone technology to measure a participant’s heart rate, blood pressure, pulse rate and other information that are vital to assess cardiovascular health.

“This is an exciting opportunity to collect real-life data using technology that is already pervasive in our daily lives,” Marcus said.

To learn more and enroll in the Health eHeart Study, visit: www.health-eheartstudy.org.