The MedBIKE™: Evaluating a Novel Telemedicine and Video Game-Linked Exercise Platform for Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients
Dr. Michael Khoury, Dr. Jennifer Conway, Dr. Simon Urschel, Dr. Lori West
*(Project also supported by the CDTRP)
Children who are heart transplant recipients (HTRs) have reduced fitness levels compared with the general population. Exercise programs in childhood HTRs, however, have not been well studied. Our group has developed a home-based, video-game linked exercise bike that allows for a live video-feed along with heart tracing, and oxygen saturation monitoring (the MedBIKE™). We have established a MedBIKE™ program for children born with severe forms of heart disease. We are now seeking to study this in childhood HTRs.
To do this, we will include 10-18 year old HTRs followed at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Participants will undergo a baseline assessment of their fitness and physical activity levels, and questionnaires will be provided to evaluate their attitudes towards physical activity and their health-related quality of life. Participants will then be randomly assigned to a MedBIKE™ or regular care (control) group. The MedBIKE™ group will begin a 12-week home-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program. Following the program, a follow-up assessment (identical to the baseline assessment) will be performed for the MedBIKE™ and control group participants. The groups will then switch, so that the control group starts the MedBIKE™ program and the original MedBIKE™ group returns to usual care. A second follow-up assessment will then be performed for all participants at the completion of the second 12-weeks.
It is our hope that the findings from this innovative study will provide important information to help us build upon our work, in our pursuit to support active, healthy living in pediatric HTRs.