Assessing the Efficacy of a Virtual Assistant in the Remote Cardiac Rehabilitation of Heart Failure and Ischemic Heart Disease Patients: Case-Control Study of Romanian Adult Patients

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Andreea-Elena Lacraru - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Stefan-Sebastian Busnatu - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Maria-Alexandra Pana - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Gabriel Olteanu - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Liviu Serbanoiu - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Kai Gand - , Research group digital health (Author)
  • Hannes Schlieter - , Research group digital health (Author)
  • Sofoklis Kyriazakos - , Aarhus University (Author)
  • Octavian Ceban - , Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Author)
  • Catalina Liliana Andrei - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)
  • Crina-Julieta Sinescu - , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Author)


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality in Europe, with potentially more than 60 million deaths per year, with an age-standardized rate of morbidity-mortalityhigher in men than women, exceeding deaths from cancer. Heart attacks and strokes account for morethan four out of every five CVD fatalities globally. After a patient overcomes an acute cardiovascularevent, they are referred for rehabilitation to help them to restore most of their normal cardiac functions. One effective way to provide this activity regimen is via virtual models or telerehabilitation,where the patient can avail themselves of the rehabilitation services from the comfort of their homesat designated timings. Under the funding of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research andInnovation program, grant no 769807, a virtual rehabilitation assistant has been designed for elderlypatients (vCare), with the overall objective of supporting recovery and an active life at home, enhancing patients’ quality of life, lowering disease-specific risk factors, and ensuring better adherenceto a home rehabilitation program. In the vCare project, the Carol Davila University of Bucharest(UMFCD) was in charge of the heart failure (HF) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) groups of patients.By creating a digital environment at patients’ homes, the vCare system’s effectiveness, use, andfeasibility was evaluated. A total of 30 heart failure patients and 20 ischemic heart disease patientswere included in the study. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions and a few technical difficulties, HFand IHD patients who performed cardiac rehabilitation using the vCare system had similar resultscompared to the ambulatory group, and better results compared to the control group.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3937
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85149737371
ORCID /0000-0002-6513-9017/work/142257311
ORCID /0000-0003-2065-8523/work/143958019
Mendeley 41e6ad3f-90f5-3bb9-af1e-c9993fdc2252
PubMed 36900948


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Sustainable Development Goals


  • cardiac rehabilitation, telerehabilitation, virtual assistants, Cardiac Rehabilitation/methods, Cardiovascular Diseases, Romania, Humans, Male, Myocardial Ischemia, Case-Control Studies, COVID-19, Quality of Life, Heart Failure, Adult, Female, Aged, Telerehabilitation