Rationale and design of a randomized trial of automated hovering for post–myocardial infarction patients: The HeartStrong program

TitleRationale and design of a randomized trial of automated hovering for post–myocardial infarction patients: The HeartStrong program
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTroxel, Andrea B., David A. Asch, Shivan J. Mehta, Laurie A. Norton, Devon H. Taylor, Tirza A. Calderon, Raymond Lim, Jingsan Zhu, Daniel M. Kolansky, Brian M. Drachman, and Kevin G. Volpp
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
ISBN Number0002-8703
Accession NumberPMID: 27595692
AbstractBackground Coronary artery disease is the single leading cause of death in the United States, and medications can significantly reduce the rate of repeat cardiovascular events and treatment procedures. Adherence to these medications, however, is very low. Methods HeartStrong is a national randomized trial offering 3 innovations. First, the intervention is built on concepts from behavioral economics that we expect to enhance its effectiveness. Second, the implementation of the trial takes advantage of new technology, including wireless pill bottles and remote feedback, to substantially automate procedures. Third, the trial's design includes an enhancement of the standard randomized clinical trial that allows rapid-cycle innovation and ongoing program enhancement. Results Using a system involving direct data feeds from 6 insurance partners followed by mail, telephone, and email contact, we enrolled 1,509 patients discharged from the hospital with acute myocardial infarction in a 2:1 ratio of intervention:usual care. The intervention period lasts 1 year; the primary outcome is time to first fatal or nonfatal acute vascular event or revascularization, including acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, stroke, acute coronary syndrome admission, or death. Conclusions Our randomized controlled trial of the HeartStrong program will provide an evaluation of a state-of-the-art behavioral economic intervention with a number of important pragmatic features. These include a tailored intervention responding to patient activity, streamlining of consent and implementation processes using new technologies, outcomes centrally important to patients, and the ability to implement rapid-cycle innovation.