Introduction: Cardiac rehabilitation is a secondary prevention crucial component that has been developed and implemented in the past decades due to the scientific evidence of its multiple benefits. Despite the cost-effectiveness of the existing programs, the rates of participation and compliance are very low which demand the need of different types of interventions to overcome obstacles, such as distance or lack of time. The home-based programs and the integration of technologies of information and communication into models of telemedicine are potentially attractive solutions to increase the participation of eligible patients and the inclusion of groups of patients currently underrepresented.
Objectives: To describe the current scientific evidence on home-based cardiac rehabilitation programs, anticipate future challenges and new technologies applied in this specific field.
Materials and methods: A review of literature published between 2005 and 2012 in different scientific electronic databases was performed.
Conclusion: Home-based programs are as effective as traditional programs (hospital – based); therefore the provision of both modalities has the potential to increase adherence rates of patients by enabling patients’ choice depending on their preference. Current technologies such as the internet enable the development of remote physical rehabilitation. The future of cardiac rehabilitation relies on the flexibility and personalization of care, since the costeffectiveness of programs depends largely on the participation and compliance of eligible patients.