Remote Care and Cardiac Monitoring – The Missing Links Between A-Fib and Mental Disorders

The importance of mental health in relation to physical ailments began to be increasingly overlooked over the centuries. As we kept going up the path of material progress we went lower and lower down the scales of self-care and health. While making our lives easier with technological inventions we began to seek shortcuts to aspects of our very nature of survival. While these alternatives made our lives easier, they were definitely not conducive to maintaining our overall health and only led to an imbalanced lifestyle that is now accepted as the norm in a majority of the world populations that became victims to this change.

One of the most important connections we forgot about is the link between physical health and mental health, two aspects that are part of the same body. Separating them is as good as trying to maintain a vehicle by just giving it a good wash and keeping it fuelled. We ignored the little creaks and feelings of misalignments in the inner mechanics until they became damaged to the point where we end up shelling out enormous amounts of money, time, and effort to replace or fix damaged parts which could have been easily maintained and saved with just a little bit of oiling and greasing.

This attitude of waiting for disaster to happen before acting on things when they are easily manageable has become so second nature to us that it has manifested in our immediate realities as well. There are numerous ways in which our body and organs can break down when any aspect intrinsic to our mental wellbeing is ignored, and one such breakdown is A-Fib.

Several recent studies have either proved the link between mental disorders and A-Fib or have tried to indicate the importance of further inquiry into the matter. The effects of each disorder were found to be different on the severity and prevalence of A-Fib. Some of the anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to people with mental disorders have also shown to increase the risk of A-Fib.

Bipolar Disorder in particular is known to have an undeniable link to cardiovascular health. Although the connection has not been clearly established yet by any studies, there is no denying that A-Fib and Bipolar Disorder are somehow related. The imbalance of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine (NE), and serotonin was seen in people living with bipolar disorder. Heightened NE activity outside the brain is speculated to be the reason behind the increased chances of A-Fib in Bipolar Disorder.

Schizophrenia is often studied in comparison to bipolar disorder and depression in several aspects and A-Fib is one such area where contrasting and merging the conditions has revealed several new insights. It was found that schizophrenics are at a higher risk of stroke and major bleeding which also revealed that thromboembolic events led to higher A-Fib mortality in patients with these comorbidities. They were found to be especially higher in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar when compared to depression.

Depression is one of the underlying symptoms of several serious mental disorders. Severe depression may also be a final warning of the onset of the more severe psychological disorders. According to new research, patients with depression continued to be at risk for A-Fib despite controlling other influencing factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Another study reported a seven-fold risk of A-fib and increased mortality in patients with clinical depression.

Anxiety is known to be common in people diagnosed with A-Fib. One study found that treatment of A-Fib with ablation resulted in fewer patients reporting symptoms of anxiety compared to treatment with medications. It was also found that being in an anxious state can create the right biological setting for AFib and the latter could do the same for the initiation of the former.

Studies have also identified the importance of informing and educating patients of this mind and heart link. This coupled with the reluctance to admit to the psychological burden of the illness makes treatment and its effectiveness a huge challenge for patients and doctors alike. Research has found that there was a considerable difference between physician evaluation of a patient’s quality of health when compared to patient self-ratings. The study further emphasized the need for bettering patient-physician rapport in changing patient attitudes and beliefs.

Heart monitoring teamed with remote observation is the ideal way to address this lack of communication and collaboration. It helps healthcare professionals connect with patients beyond the few minutes at the doctor’s office, which is barely enough to even spark a real change. Since most diseases are a result of years of damage that need more than a few inadequate face-to-face interactions with the patient. Short appointments make it impossible for doctors to do fully coach patients resulting in unsuccessful treatment outcomes. Effective treatment requires continuous assessment and building awareness humanely and effectively is all about timing.

Remote care apps allow for such timely step-by-step intervention and interaction. Remote Cardiac technology has reached the potential to be successfully integrated with medical practices and complex healthcare processes. It allows a balanced yet continuous involvement of doctors to help patients recover better and benefit more from their treatments. Healthcare technology completes the treatment cycle by perfectly bridging the personal distance between patients and providers through virtual interactions and monitoring. Furthermore, cardiovascular data generated through continuous monitoring can reveal more about the much-speculated relationship between mental states and A-Fib.

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