Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare

Cardiac rehabilitation

Activate your heart

Health outcomes for patients with heart disease who complete a cardiac rehabilitation programme, have shown to be improved by up to 26 per cent compared with those who do not attend. All patients should be offered a programme but many boards struggle to find capacity.

Through Scottish Government’s Heart Disease Action Plan Implementation Fund, SCTT was  funded to explore interactive web-based cardiac rehabilitation and is now supporting a trial of Activate Your Heart in Scotland for 250 patients in Lothian and Forth Valley.

Activate Your Heart (AYH) is an online cardiac rehabilitation programme (, developed  by University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust.  The programme offers comparable menu based classes to conventional ones, however these can be accessed 24/7 through a patient’s own computer or mobile device rather than the patient having to travel to an agreed site at an agreed time.AYH

A small scale trial of AYH in Forth Valley and Lothian took place recently, and this was evaluated by SCTT. See details in AYH Final Evaluation Report.

This identifies that the uptake was not as large as expected due to challenges in staffing the new process, however, patient feedback was positive. The report identifies useful lessons learned for both this service and any new digital patient service. It is hoped access to digital cardiac rehabilitation will become a recognised option for patients in Scotland. The national cardiac rehabilitation group, led by Frances Divers, are taking forward the modernisation of cardiac rehabilitation in Scotland, for more information

For more information about Activate Your Heart visit the website or contact Anne Reoch at .

The following papers have been published on the cardiac rehabilitation programme in Leicester, two are free to download:

Evaluating the Interactive Web-Based Program, Activate Your Heart, for Cardiac Rehabilitation Patients: A Pilot Study. Brough C, Boyce S, Houchen-Wolloff L, Sewell L, Singh S. J Med Internet Res 2014;16(10):e242 URL: doi:10.2196/jmir.3027

A Web-Based Program Improves Physical Activity Outcomes in a Primary Care Angina Population: Randomized Controlled Trial, Devi R, Powell J, Singh S; J Med Internet Res 2014;16(9):e186, URL:, DOI: 10.2196/jmir.3340, PMID: 25217464, PMCID: 4180351

Exploring the experience of using a web-based cardiac rehabilitation programme in a primary care angina population: a qualitative study. Reena Devi, Christine Carpenter, John Powell, Sally Singh

International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation | Vol. 21 | No. 9 | pp 434–440

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