New app promotes heart health - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

New app promotes heart health

Have you ever wondered about your risk factors for heart attack or stroke?

Now, thanks to the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, there's an app for that.

"These things aren't developed in Silicon Valley. They're developed by folks that live and breathe medicine," said Jeff Vanwormer, an epidemiologist at Marshfield Clinic.

It's called Heart Health Mobile. The app won a national competition called the Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge. Users can plug in personal health information, and the app will calculate their risk for heart attack or stroke.

"This is an effort to start to put more control, more information into the hands of people that need to benefit from more of the prevention services," said Vanwormer.

Heart Health Mobile has a mini game feature. Developers said they think that's what set their app apart from others in the competition.

"Any company that's developing any piece of software struggles with how do you keep users engaged? How do you keep them coming back to the app itself? And I think that was one piece we stepped up above the others," said project manager Bryan Weichelt.

Researchers involved in the project said the app helps people to keep better track of their health.

"They can now get a better sense of their cardiovascular disease risk, and it fits right in their pocket," said Vanwormer.

The app works on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. Developers said they're working on a web-based version of the app that will work on other devices.

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