April 19 (UPI) -- Scientists have created a new digital instrument that creates personalized workouts for people to do to help prevent heart disease.
The European Association of Preventive Cardiology Exercise Prescription in Everyday Practice and Rehabilitation Training, or EXPERT, tool generates exercise prescriptions for patients with cardiovascular risk factors or disease, and specifies the ideal exercise type, intensity, duration and frequency required to prevent a first or repeat cardiovascular event.
EXPERT was designed by cardiovascular rehabilitation specialists from 11 European countries working in collaboration with researchers at Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium.
The program can be installed on a laptop or personal computer and clinicians input patient data and cardiovascular risk factors and the tool automatically designs a personalized exercise program for the patient.
"Exercise reduces cardiovascular risk, improves body composition and physical fitness, and lowers mortality and morbidity," Dominique Hansen, associate professor in exercise physiology and rehabilitation of internal diseases at Hasselt, said in a press release. "But surveys have shown that many clinicians experience great difficulties in prescribing specific exercise programs for patients with multiple cardiovascular diseases and risk factors."
This is where the EXPERT tool comes in by designing different exercise goals for each cardiovascular risk factor and disease tailored specifically to the individual patient.
"EXPERT provides the exercise prescription a patient needs to meet their particular exercise goals, which should ultimately help them to feel better and reduce their risks of morbidity and mortality," Hansen said. "By prescribing an exercise program that really works patients are more likely to be motivated to continue because they see that it is improving their health."
The next step for the EXPERT tool is to be tested in clinical trials.
The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.