Research into prevention of cardiovascular disease has increasingly focused on mobile health (mHealth) technologies and their efficacy in helping individuals adhere to heart-healthy recommendations, including daily physical activity levels. By including the use of mHealth technologies in the discussion of physical activity recommendations, clinicians empower patients to play an active daily role in modifying their cardiovascular risk-factor profile. In this review, we critically evaluate the mHealth and physical activity literature to determine how these tools may lower cardiovascular risk while providing real-time tracking, feedback, and motivation on physical activity levels. We analyze the various domains—including user knowledge, social support, behavioral change theory, and self-motivation—that potentially influence the effectiveness of smartphone applications to impact individual physical activity levels. In doing so, we hope to provide a thorough overview of the mHealth landscape, in addition to highlighting many of the administrative, reimbursement, and patient-privacy challenges of using these technologies in patient care. Finally, we propose a behavioral change model and checklist for clinicians to assist patients in utilizing mHealth technology to best achieve meaningful changes in daily physical activity levels.
- Preventive Cardiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine