CDTRP Research Innovation Grant awardee – The MedBIKE™: Evaluating a Novel Telemedicine and Video Game-Linked Exercise Platform for Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients (Michael Khoury)

Through collaboration with partner organizations, CDTRP is pleased to offer our annual Research Innovation Grant competition to fund exciting new project ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling all of the projects funded in the 2021 competition.

Funded through a CDTRP Research Innovation Grant

Title: High-Intensity Interval Training in Youth who have Received Heart Transplants

  • Principal investigator: Michael Khoury
  • Main affiliation: University of Alberta
  • Part of Theme 5
  • Team: Lori West, Simon Urschel, Jennifer Conway
Lay Abstract

Children who are heart transplant recipients (HTRs) have reduced fitness levels compared with the general population. Exercise programs in childhood HTRs, however, have not been well studied. Our group has developed a home-based, video-game linked exercise bike that allows for a live video-feed along with heart tracing, and oxygen saturation monitoring (the MedBIKETM). We have established a MedBIKETM program for children born with severe forms of heart disease. We are now seeking to study this in childhood HTRs.

To do this, we will include 10-18 year old HTRs followed at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Participants will undergo a baseline assessment of their fitness and physical activity levels, and questionnaires will be provided to evaluate their attitudes towards physical activity and their health-related quality of life. Participants will then be randomly assigned to a MedBIKETM or regular care (control) group. The MedBIKETM group will begin a 12-week home-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program. Following the program, a follow-up assessment (identical to the baseline assessment) will be performed for the MedBIKETM and control group participants. The groups will then switch, so that the control group starts the MedBIKETM program and the original MedBIKETM group returns to usual care. A second follow-up assessment will then be performed for all participants at the completion of the second 12-weeks.

It is our hope that the findings from this innovative study will provide important information to help us build upon our work, in our pursuit to support active, healthy living in pediatric HTRs.

Learn more about Michael, a new member of CDTRP here and follow him on Twitter (@makhoury).