A Big Impact: Heart Health at Home

Two men laughing

Hugo Campos Sr. and Hugo Campos Jr. share more than just a name. Originally from Brazil, the father and son both live with complex heart conditions and benefit from high-tech home health care.

Together, they exemplify the need for and promise of the Healthy Aging in a Digital World Big Idea.

Hugo Sr. primarily speaks Brazilian Portuguese, relying on his son for translation and care support. Congestive heart failure complicated by pericardial effusion and permanent atrial fibrillation requires him to take seven medications a day to keep his heart functioning – and puts him at high risk for hospitalization.

For Hugo Jr., a UC Davis research-study partner, keeping his dad healthy, safe and at home are top priorities – as is managing his own inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diastolic dysfunction.

Hugo Jr. appreciates that their primary care provider empowers him to customize his father’s care regimen at home.

“We work very closely with our primary care physician, whom we trust, and who trusts us to the point of allowing me to control the dose of dad’s medication,” he said. “He recognizes our need for autonomy.”

In addition to his care community, modern tools aid Hugo Jr. in caring for his father. He often has questions such as, “How can I tell if this change will put my dad at risk for hospitalization?”

That question would be difficult for anyone to assess alone – but the emerging science of predictive analytics can help with the answer.

Katherine Kim, a UC Davis faculty member on the Healthy Aging in a Digital World team, is part of a hospitalization-risk predictive analytics project involving a large group of hospitals that have built an online network to share health records for research.

Through this network her team can send Hugo Jr.’s question out to multiple hospitals at the same time, benefiting from the data of a broad patient population. They are then able to make accurate predictions and develop solutions increase Hugo Sr.’s chances of staying out of the hospital.

To further serve people like Hugo Jr., UC Davis has a vision to build user-friendly functionality on top of this research network.

“We want patients to be able to ask their own questions and directly access detailed, personalized information about their own unique health situations,” Kim said.

A large research network is just one tool our Big Idea team has to deliver relevant solutions to patients and their families. With the help of our philanthropic partners, we will develop an entire toolset to empower people—and their care communities—to manage their health needs in the comfort of the homes.

Learn more about Healthy Aging in a Digital World.