Specialists develop lifestyle program to prevent cardiovascular disease

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has developed a lifestyle program together with the Dutch Heart Network, consisting of GPs and four hospitals in the Southeast Brabant region. The web app will help people with an increased risk of heart disease to improve their lifestyles. Scientists from TU/e will use the data generated by the app to further develop the program. TU/e professor and Catharina hospital cardiologist Lukas Dekker: “Prevention is the ultimate treatment for many potential cardiovascular patients! There is an old care adage: prevention is better than cure”.

The web app will be provided free of charge. “Each participant sets his own targets within the program. If you can walk 100 meters in one day, the program challenges you to literally go a step further every time,” explains TU/e-associate professor and Maxima MC cardiologist Hareld Kemps. “Through motivational messages and lifestyle challenges, we activate people to get moving and above all: to keep on moving”.

Enormous potential

The added value of this project lies in the composition of the participants. The Dutch Heart Network is the driving force behind the program. General practitioners, ambulance services and the four hospitals successfully join forces in this network to improve cardiac care in the region. “Because scientists from the TU/e are now joining this project, there is enormous potential,” says Lukas Dekker. “These scientists are investigating how we can help people improve their lifestyles.” Hareld Kemps is also enthusiastic about the collaboration: “All ingredients are present to make this program successful with hopefully the most important outcome: better health of the people in Southeast Brabant”.

It goes without saying that the input of participants is important in this experiment: how do they experience the use and usefulness of such a program and what benefits can be derived from it? Kemps: “With this information we will continue to develop the program, in order to achieve a lifestyle change program that is optimized for patients.”

Prevention of cardiovascular disease

Approximately one and a half million people in the Netherlands live with cardiovascular disease. These diseases are currently the most important cause of death in the Netherlands. Risk factors for the development of these diseases include unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Research has shown that by living a healthy life you can prevent a large part of these cardiovascular diseases.

Online event

The new webapp, which can be accessed via a website on the smartphone, laptop and tablet, will be launched during a special webinar on Tuesday 27 Octobe . Are you interested? Please go to www.samengezondhart.nl and follow the session live.

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