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DkIT tests technology to improve health and wellbeing for people with heart conditions

26 August 2021

The NetwellCASALA team, at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), is currently developing and testing new technologies aimed at supporting people with heart conditions to self-manage their own health and wellbeing. However, according to NetwellCASALA’s director, Dr Julie Doyle, ‘new technologies are most helpful if the people they are intended for have input into their design’. For several months, local residents who are members of the NetwellCASALA Living Lab, have been doing just that.

NetwellCASALA is now seeking people with heart conditions who are interested in testing two new technologies developed at DKIT.

The first trial, starting in the coming weeks, will evaluate the effectiveness of an at-home, technology-based exercise programme compared to face-to-face cardiac rehabilitation training. Dr Oonagh Giggins, who is leading this trial, says

‘we are looking for volunteers who have already completed, or partially completed, a cardiac rehab exercise programme following the diagnosis of a heart condition, or heart attack, or surgery to treat heart disease. ’

The trial will include free access to an eight-week cardiac exercise programme. To find out more about participating in this project, contact Dr Giggins at or call 087 448 0581.

A second trial will address the challenge of managing stress and worry along with a heart condition. Dr Orla Moran will lead this trial and says,

‘stress and anxiety can often make it difficult to follow heart health advice but a form of psychotherapy, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), can help.’ 

Dr Moran is inviting volunteers to test the effectiveness of ACT to manage distress and improve mental wellbeing in people with heart conditions.  Those participating will have six no-cost therapeutic sessions (delivered via Zoom), while also using an app designed to support the process. Anyone with a heart condition interested in participating in this trial should contact Dr Moran by email at or call 087 448 0581.

For more information about NetwellCASALA Living Lab and upcoming projects see or call 042 9370497 to receive a regular newsletter.

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