Grant Application

Ravi Ramani, MD, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute

Proposed Innovation

Patients with heart failure can be overwhelmed with information about their condition and needed behavior changes. That’s why UPMC partnered with Simcoach Games in 2014 to develop Heart Failure Coach — an interactive patient engagement game designed to teach basic self-management skills. During the game, patients interact with and guide Simon, a character with congestive heart failure who was recently released from the hospital. Players coach Simon for a week to track his weight, make sure he takes his medicine, and prompt him to call his doctor if he has problems.

Although it has proven to be an invaluable educational resource for UPMC patients, the app is not compatible with newer devices. This project aims to update the code in Heart Failure Coach so the video game app is accepted by app stores and can be used on devices equipped with the latest technology.

Improvements in Action

During this project, the Heart Failure Coach content will be fully reviewed and updated along with the software code to ensure it is current and accurate. In addition, the app will be promoted across UPMC to ensure all cardiovascular centers are aware that the educational tool is available for their patients.

Intended Outcomes

This project is expected to improve patient access to this important educational tool and help patients with congestive heart failure to take ownership of their disease with skills they can use to improve outcomes and avoid readmission