Mobile Phone Technologies in the Management of Ischemic Heart Disease, Heart Failure, and Hypertension: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in most developed societies. Smartphone apps, telemonitoring, and clinician-driven SMS allow for novel opportunities and methods in managing chronic CVD, such as ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and hypertension, and in the conduct and support of cardiac rehabilitation.

Objective: A systematic review was conducted using seven electronic databases, identifying all relevant randomized control trials (RCTs) featuring a mobile phone intervention (MPI) used in the management of chronic CVD. Outcomes assessed included mortality, hospitalizations, blood pressure (BP), and BMI.

Methods: Electronic data searches were performed using seven databases from January 2000 to June 2019. Relevant articles were reviewed and analyzed. Meta-analysis was performed using standard techniques. The odds ratio (OR) was used as a summary statistic for dichotomous variables. A random effect model was used.

Results: A total of 26 RCTs including 6713 patients were identified and are described in this review, and 12 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. In patients with heart failure, MPIs were associated with a significantly lower rate of hospitalizations (244/792, 30.8% vs 287/803, 35.7%; n=1595; OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.97; P=.03; I2=0%). In patients with hypertension, patients exposed to MPIs had a significantly lower systolic BP (mean difference 4.3 mm Hg; 95% CI -7.8 to -0.78 mm Hg; n=2023; P=.02).

Conclusions: The available data suggest that MPIs may have a role as a valuable adjunct in the management of chronic CVD.