Engage Logo

NIH-funded study (Holden, PI) to develop and test an intervention to promote self-care behavior, knowledge, and activation among older patients with heart failure.


Engage is an initiative from the HILab to improve day-to-day self-care for people with chronic heart failure through a short-term intervention. Engage consists of a tablet application that patients with chronic heart failure use for 30 days to assist them in self-care of their disease. The application provides educational content and prompts for patients, and also captures and stores patient-entered data. This data can be useful to patients and their doctors and inform future plans of care. Users of Engage log information such as weight and blood pressure; set daily goals such as 30 minutes or more of activity, and learn or rediscover facts about their disease. It has been iteratively designed, developed, and tested by a multi-disciplinary team reaching beyond the HIL lab. 


People with chronic heart failure have to follow a specific life regimen to maintain their symptoms in check. They are expected to perform certain tasks every day, such as taking their weight, exercising, and controlling their sodium intake. Patients often struggle and fail to incorporate these self-care recommendations into their daily routine.

Engage is a software application designed for use on a tablet device by patients with heart failure over a 30-day period. Engage supports the goal-setting, self-monitoring, and learning to integrate self-care into daily life. 

Design of the Intervention

Engage was designed by a multidisciplinary team over several iterations, starting from the grant originated by Dr Richard J Holden. Initial discussions focused on the type of format to use for Engage. Once tablets were selected as means of carrying the intervention, application flow and screens were devised by the team. The designs were revised several times with the input of HCI experts, ultimately leading to the creation of an interactive prototype. The team then tested this prototype with patients and caregivers of patients with chronic heart failure, and modified the prototype iteratively according to reactions gathered from these participants. 

Future of Engage

The team is currently working on bringing a fully-fledged tablet and phone application to people with chronic heart failure. A clinical trial of this application will be carried out in 2017; this page will be updated accordingly as the trial unfolds and results are available.

This work is funded by grants K01AG044439 National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH, PI: Holden), UL1 TR000445, and KL2 TR000446 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS/NIH).

Project Personnel

Submitted by hilabadmin on Tue, 12/06/2016 - 12:41