ASCVD Risk Estimator
What it is: A mobile app that uses an algorithm to determine risk of cardiac disease
What devices: IOS and Android
Who should use it: Physicians who want more guidance on cardiovascular risks and treatment guidelines for hyperlipidemia. Also patients who want to be more proactive win their own healthcare, who want more information on their own heart risks and what they can do about it.
Why use it: The goals physicians set for cholesterol levels change based on a specific set of risk factors. Essentially this makes cholesterol levels a moving target at times. Not every patient will have the same goal.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has developed a mobile app to help physicians and patients make the most informed decision about cholesterol treatment. The app is called the ASCVD Risk Estimator. ASCVD stands for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. The uses published medical guidelines to set a 10 year and lifetime risk of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiac cause.
To use the app, one needs information regarding age, gender, race, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, diabetes status, smoking status and use of blood pressure lowering medications. By inputting this information, one can see the 10 year and lifetime risk of heart disease.
The app also uses the current published guidelines on treatment. Based on the risk that is calculated it will review current treatment options. For instance if the risk for a patient is calculated to be 14%, then the app can easily show you that the next step is high intensity statin and lifestyle modifications.
There are two educational sections of the app, one geared for physicians and one geared towards patients. The Physician section is more technical and comes with a strength of recommendation rating that physicians will be familiar with. The Patient section is much more approachable. Conveniently there is a section that provides definitions to common medical terms that could be quite helpful for patients.