Bioimpedance-Based Heart Failure Deterioration Prediction Using a Prototype Fluid Accumulation Vest-Mobile Phone Dyad: An Observational Study

JMIR Cardio. 2017 Mar 13;1(1):e1. doi: 10.2196/cardio.6057.


Background: Recurrent heart failure (HF) events are common in patients discharged after acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). New patient-centered technologies are needed to aid in detecting HF decompensation. Transthoracic bioimpedance noninvasively measures pulmonary fluid retention.

Objective: The objectives of our study were to (1) determine whether transthoracic bioimpedance can be measured daily with a novel, noninvasive, wearable fluid accumulation vest (FAV) and transmitted using a mobile phone and (2) establish whether an automated algorithm analyzing daily thoracic bioimpedance values would predict recurrent HF events.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled patients admitted for ADHF. Participants were trained to use a FAV-mobile phone dyad and asked to transmit bioimpedance measurements for 45 consecutive days. We examined the performance of an algorithm analyzing changes in transthoracic bioimpedance as a predictor of HF events (HF readmission, diuretic uptitration) over a 75-day follow-up.

Results: We observed 64 HF events (18 HF readmissions and 46 diuretic uptitrations) in the 106 participants (67 years; 63.2%, 67/106, male; 48.1%, 51/106, with prior HF) who completed follow-up. History of HF was the only clinical or laboratory factor related to recurrent HF events (P=.04). Among study participants with sufficient FAV data (n=57), an algorithm analyzing thoracic bioimpedance showed 87% sensitivity (95% CI 82-92), 70% specificity (95% CI 68-72), and 72% accuracy (95% CI 70-74) for identifying recurrent HF events.

Conclusions: Patients discharged after ADHF can measure and transmit daily transthoracic bioimpedance using a FAV-mobile phone dyad. Algorithms analyzing thoracic bioimpedance may help identify patients at risk for recurrent HF events after hospital discharge.

Keywords: electric impedance; heart failure; outpatient monitoring; telemedicine.