Researchers assessed the safety and practicality of high-intensity interval training with a novel MedBIKE™ in children with Fontan physiology. The MedBIKE™ is a custom telemedicine ergometer that includes a video game platform and live feed of patient video/audio, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and power output for remote medical supervision and modulation of work. “Cardiac rehabilitation in the paediatric Fontan population: development of a home-based high-intensity interval training programme” was published in Oct, 2020 in Cardiology In The Young.
Researchers, including ACTION leaders Michael Khoury and Jennifer Conway of Stollery Children’s Hospital, performed three study phases. The first phase compared exercise workload between the MedBIKE™ and a standard cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer in 10 healthy adults. The second phase assessed in-hospital safety, feasibility, and user experience with the MedBIKE™ in children with Fontan physiology; a questionnaire revealed that ten youths with Fontan physiology completed a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training session with no adverse events. The participants found the MedBIKE™ easy to navigate and enjoyable to use. The last phase was an eight-week home-based high-intensity interval trial program in two participants with Fontan physiology. For these two participants, the protocol was tolerated well with completion of 23/24 and 24/24 of sessions, respectively, and no adverse events occurred in any session.
Ultimately, the study revealed similar physiological responses as compared to a standard cardiopulmonary exercise test ergometer, and the MedBIKE™ was found to be safe, feasible, and enjoyable high-intensity interval training for youth with Fontan physiology. Ongoing recruitment of children with Fontan circulations and moderate-to-complex congenital heart disease is needed.
Khoury M, Phillips DB, Wood PW, Mott WR, Stickland MK, Boulanger P, Rempel GR, Conway J, Mackie AS, Khoo NS. Cardiac rehabilitation in the paediatric Fontan population: development of a home-based high-intensity interval training programme. Cardiol Young. 2020 Oct;30(10):1409-1416. doi: 10.1017/S1047951120002097. Epub 2020 Jul 27. PMID: 32716280.