American Heart Month in Review: Lark Helps Patients Assess and Manage Their Cardiovascular Risk
Jason Paruthi, MD is the Medical Director at Lark. With extensive experience in clinical medicine, translational research, and health technology business development, Dr. Paruthi educates partners and prospects on how to best leverage Lark for optimized health outcomes, care coordination, and cost savings in their patient populations. Additionally, he collaborates with Lark’s Health Committee and product teams to incorporate the latest evidence and clinical guidelines into Lark’s AI coaching platform. He received his BA and MD from Boston University and was a trainee and translational researcher at Harvard Medical School where he studied clinical interventions for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity-related chronic conditions. Outside of work, Dr. Paruthi enjoys spending time with his family and trying out new healthy, spicy recipes.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)1 are the leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in an estimated 697k deaths and costing the U.S. $229 billion annually. Half of the adults in the U.S.2— about 121.5M or 48 percent —have some type of CVD. Fortunately, preventing and managing CVD3 through diet, exercise, medication, and lifestyle changes is possible, and behavior change programs are a key part of this picture. By providing patients with the tools they need to improve their heart health, Lark supports their cardiac self-efficacy—their ability to manage and improve their cardiovascular health, a metric associated with better health outcomes.
Lark Heart Health leverages a fully digital interface accessible anywhere, anytime to help patients effectively manage their cardiovascular health and close gaps in care. Designed using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) framework and following guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), Lark Heart Health promotes patient activation and cardiac self-efficacy.
Improving cardiac self-efficacy is a key goal for behavior change programs for CVD prevention and management. To evaluate the effect of participation in Lark’s Heart Health program on cardiac self-efficacy and cardiovascular outcomes, 272 participants completed the 9-item Cardiac Self-Efficacy (CSE) scale on Day 2 and Day 40 to assess changes in confidence in their ability to manage their heart health. Participants received AI-powered health coaching, and completed educational modules focused on improving heart health management through behavior changes.
After 40 days in the Heart Health program, members on average showed a:
- 17.01% increase in confidence in “knowing when to call or visit the doctor for [their] heart disease”
- 16.26% increase in confidence in “knowing how much physical activity is good for [them].”
- 19.98% increase in confidence that [they] can “get regular aerobic exercise.”
These findings suggest that Lark Heart Health can improve cardiac self-efficacy quickly, leading to better heart health management and cardiac outcomes in high-risk populations.
Lasting Behavior Changes Improve Overall Health and Wellness
Through engaging patient experiences and heart health tools, including cardiac risk assessment and recommendations, digital nutrition therapy, educational videos, medication reminders, and counseling and guidance for tobacco cessation and physical activity, Lark Heart Health helps patients make meaningful, lasting lifestyle changes to decrease their CVD risk factors. Here are four ways Lark Heart Health supports patients using technology:
- Assessing and targeting risk factors: Effective CVD prevention requires early identification of risk factors and implementation of lifestyle changes. Lark Heart Health helps patients prevent and manage CVD by targeting key risk factors, including physical activity level, weight loss, medication adherence, diet, stress and anxiety, sleep, and tobacco use. Lark uses the ACC/AHA ASCVD Risk Estimator to help patients calculate their 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event and measure progress towards improved outcomes.
- Medication and gaps in care reminders: In today’s busy world, it’s easy to let personal health management slip and forget to refill their medication or schedule a check-up. Lark’s “always-on” communication approach helps patients identify and problem-solve barriers to care compliance. Through medication adherence and appointment reminders, Lark’s AI-based care coach helps patients stay on track and empowers them to activate their care.
- Addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH): Lark recognizes that for many Americans, prevention, and management of CVD are made more challenging by SDoH factors such as transportation limitations and food and housing insecurity. To make quality heart healthcare more accessible to all, Lark provides digital tools accessible anytime, anywhere, including personalized nutrition and lifestyle counseling to fit patients' diverse needs.
- AI health coaching and heart health education: Making lasting cardiac health improvements requires understanding CVD risk factors, managing risk, and an unfaltering support system. Lark Heart Health’s daily education modules cover 26 topics, including understanding cholesterol and blood pressure, enjoying healthy food, and getting more active. With holistic coaching elements, including connected scale, food logging, and activity tracking, Lark Heart Health’s AI engine drives a virtuous cycle of data integration, personalization, and patient engagement to create individual and population-level impact.
Better heart health for all starts here.
At Lark, we believe that everyone deserves care and compassion. To help reach this goal, we provide health plans and employers with a cost-effective, scalable, and accessible solution to improve each patient’s heart health and well-being. Created with leading industry experts, Lark Heart Health drives patient and care activation with digital interactions available anywhere, anytime. Preventing and managing CVD starts with the patient—Lark provides the support and resources to set patients on their journey to better heart health.
Learn more about the Lark Heart Health pilot study.