Healthbeat: Virtual cardiac rehabilitation program helps assist patients at home


PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Studies show most heart patients requiring cardiac rehabilitation, don’t attend even a single session. However, a virtual cardiac rehab program is helping change that.

Many older heart patients struggle with cost, transportation, and wait times for cardiac rehab. But, a Pittston Township man is proof that a home-based virtual program works to help extend and enhance a heart patient’s life.

82-year-old heart patient Ray Capozucca is increasing his strength and cardiac ability thanks to an innovative, home-based, virtual cardiac rehabilitation program from Recora.

After undergoing heart valve replacement surgery in May, Capozucca underwent in-person cardiac rehab. But, his Geisinger Cardiologist’s office also suggested Recora, which requires a tablet computer.

“I don’t know anything about a computer. And then they called me up one day do you want to get on this program Recora through Geisinger? Well, okay but I didn’t know what it was about,” explained Capozucca.

Many Geisinger patients who use the Recora program are seniors like Capozucca.

“We actually spend some time training individuals, and sending them an internet-enabled tablet removes any hurdle that they would have to use this platform,” said Dr. Edward Wu, Recora Chief Medical Officer.

South Carolina-based Exercise Physiologist Julie Wyrick leads Capozucca through individual half-hour sessions of cardiac rehab three times a week.

“She doesn’t run out of breath but I do, let me tell you,” Capozucca joked.

Capozucca says he’s still working on conditioning, including his leg strength, but he’s making progress.

“I did so much walking. I was in Atlantic City over the weekend,” said Capozucca.

You can bet Capozucca is grateful to be able to get back to normal activities thanks to his Geisinger Surgical Team who replaced his faulty heart valve and Geisinger’s virtual cardiac program which has helped him rehab in the comfort of his kitchen.

“I think it’s a great program, I really do and it can do nothing more than help me and that’s what I need.”

Geisinger is the only health system regionally to use Recora and one of the first nationally.

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