Journal of Medical Systems

, 40:186 | Cite as

Utility of a mHealth App for Self-Management and Education of Cardiac Diseases in Spanish Urban and Rural Areas

  • Valentín González de Garibay
  • Miguel A. Fernández
  • Isabel de la Torre-Díez
  • Miguel López-Coronado
Mobile Systems
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile Systems


Analyze the utility of a mobile health app named HeartKeeper in several groups of population and obtain conclusions to be applied to other similar apps. A questionnaire has been designed to evaluate the usage and utility of the HeartKeeper app. The questionnaire information was collected by collaborating cardiologists from 32 patients before and after they used the app. Patients were randomly selected with established quotas within interest groups, so that men and women, patients older or younger than 60 years old and patients living in urban or rural areas were equally represented. Using the appropriate statistical techniques we see that the HeartKeeper app was useful for patients as they qualify with 70 points (out of 100) the overall opinion of the app, it helps them remember more easily taking their pills with a mean improvement of 20.94 points (p < 0.001) and they perceive a global improvement of their health (8.28 points, p < 0.001). We also observe that these improvements do not depend, in general, on the area (urban or rural) where the patient comes from or on their sex. Although older patients needed more help to use the app and used it slightly less frequently, the improvements on several measures considered, such as remembering taking pills, breathing problems or trouble developing activities, depend significantly (p < 0.05) on age with older patients reporting higher improvements than younger ones. The results obtained with the sample of patients considered in this research prove the utility of the HeartKeeper app. This utility is similar in urban and rural areas and for patients of both sexes and, to some extent, depends on the age of the patient with older patients reporting slightly lower frequency of use but higher health improvements than younger ones.


Cardiac diseases m-Health Rural Urban Utility 



This research has been partially supported by the European Commission and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism under the project AAL-20125036 named “WetakeCare: ICT- based Solution for (Self-) Management of Daily Living”.

Thanks to the Service of Cardiology of the Clinic University Hospital of Valladolid, Spain for the collaboration in this work. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for several useful comments which improved this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No author has a conflict of interest with the contents of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentín González de Garibay
    • 1
  • Miguel A. Fernández
    • 1
  • Isabel de la Torre-Díez
    • 2
  • Miguel López-Coronado
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchUniversity of ValladolidValladolidSpain
  2. 2.Department of Signal Theory and Communications, and Telematics EngineeringUniversity of ValladolidValladolidSpain

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