Heart failure

Self-care of patients in the community involves patients understanding their condition, and monitoring their weight and blood pressure. There are many examples of Flo being used for this, as by self-monitoring, patients are able to have a better quality of life, with the reassurance that clinical oversight of readings enables action to be taken when necessary.

The last section of this video below from the Western Isles of Scotland shows how useful Flo is in a rural community.

Some Flo programmes have tried complex measurements of blood pressure in sitting and then standing, to achieve greatest tolerable control of the condition as medication is up-titrated. However, not all nursing staff felt confident in treating such patients remotely; as TECS become more commonly used, this is an area where patients as partners in their care will be trusted to work with their GP or nurse to manage their condition optimally.

The NHS: Home website explains how heart failure develops, and its treatment. The usual lifestyle changes may help patients to have a better quality of life, and possibly a longer life expectancy.

Websites such as NHS: Live Well can help with diet, smoking cessation, exercise, and alcohol reduction. Apps such as Active 10 walking tracker, Evergreen Life, Sugar Smart, Easy Meals, Drinks tracker, Be Food Smart, Couch to 5K, etc can also help, by being downloaded to a smartphone.

Flo, can help with different aspects of poor lifestyle habits by addressing general activity, weight, smoking cessation, healthy eating, reduced alcohol consumption, and control of blood pressure. Flo can also remind patients to take their medication. There are several Flo protocols which you can use or adapt in the resources section.

Wearable technology, such as Fitbits, or even simpler pedometers can help motivate people to change their lifestyle.

Patients may be reviewed by video consultation, such as Skype, where appropriate. See more information about Skype in ‘TECS in Use’.