Purpose of review: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) programs to close or limit their usual offerings. In order for patients to continue to benefit from CR, programs need to rapidly adapt to the current environment. This review highlights ways CR has evolved, and reviews the history of CR and recent advancements in telemedicine including remote patient monitoring, and mobile health that can be applied to CR.
Recent findings: Despite that initial studies indicate that home-based CR (HBCR) is safe and effective, HBCR has faced several challenges that have prevented it from becoming more widely implemented. Many previous concerns can now be addressed through the use of new innovations in home-based healthcare delivery. Since its inception, CR has become increasingly recognized as an important tool to improve patient mortality and quality of life in a broad range of cardiac diseases. While there has been little need to modify the delivery of CR since the 1950s, COVID-19 now serves as the necessary impetus to make HBCR an equal alternative to CBCR.
Keywords: COVID-19; Cardiac rehabilitation; Mobile health; Prevention; Secondary prevention; Telemedicine.