Everyone knows how important heart health is to our overall health — and yet the CDC says almost half of all American adults have high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for cardiac-related illness and even death. So how do you get from where your heart is to where you want it to be?
There are some big-picture things that everyone can do to improve their heart health.
The first is a healthy diet: while there are many approaches here, the key tenets are mindfulness of portion size, high amounts of vegetable, fruits, and whole grains, low amounts of sodium, unhealthy fats, and high-fat protein sources. The second is physical activity: many doctors recommend a combination of aerobic activity to improve cardiac output, and resistance training to change your body composition and improve cholesterol levels.
There are also a few things to avoid: smoking or being around second-hand smoke, stress, and excess alcohol consumption are all contributors to poor heart health.
Because of aging, genetics, or prior medical history, people may worry about the risks associated with their cardiac health regardless of how healthy their habits are. Forward’s Heart Health program is designed around the individual, meaning it can help people regardless of where they fall on the spectrum of heart health.
How Forward’s health program works
Forward’s Heart Health program is a unique, doctor-led program built around our mission to get quality care in the hands of more people and lower healthcare costs. As with all of our programs, we tap cutting-edge technology for continuous health monitoring over 12 weeks, not just the usual once-per-year doctor check-in.
What to expect
- The Heart Health program begins with a comprehensive evaluation of your current health. Every doctor visit — be it at home with sensors or in an office with a body scan — captures vitals including weight and pulse oximetry. These results are delivered to the doctor instantly, allowing them to have a more complete picture of your health. From there we begin a heart health analysis that includes comprehensive blood testing — with results ready in 12 minutes — and a nutrition and fitness assessment. Then we perform a genetic analysis to complete the picture of your heart disease risk. This helps us to identify hereditary risks and reveal medication sensitivities. And your doctor will oversee it all, helping you understand how the pieces fit together for you. By the end of the evaluation, we have a much clearer picture of your heart attack risk over the next decade.
- Next, we build a personalized plan for you in conjunction with your doctor. This involves long-term health counseling, where we discuss your unique situation and do a full review of your medical history. From there we build a comprehensive and personalized smart plan that can include nutrition, mental health, medication, and supplements. We’ll help optimize a plan for diet and exercise, too.
- To help you stay on track, we have ongoing support and biometric monitoring. This includes in-person and virtual doctor visits to check your progress and modify your personal plan as needed. We monitor your progress using at-home sensors, weekly blood pressure and weight measurements, and additional blood testing, which can automatically alert you or your provider in real time and track improvements as you progress through the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Forward’s Healthy Heart program different?
Traditional healthcare is backwards. It’s reactive, focused on treating problems after they’ve already occurred instead of preventing them. Even existing heart health programs are structured around the limitations of our healthcare system, meaning they charge you by services provided instead of by outcomes delivered.
Forward’s Heart Health program works the way healthcare should. We work with you to identify potential heart problems or risks early, build a personalized plan to improve your cardiac health, and work proactively alongside you to implement it and track your results. As with all of Forward’s programs, we’re there for annual physicals, sick care, prescriptions and vaccines, of course. We also offer virtual visits, 24/7 medical advice, and real-time blood test results.
A key piece of our approach is using the latest technology to enable human health. Our app allows for anytime connected care, rapid diagnosis, interconnected biometric monitoring, health and family history records, and lab results — all in one place. But none of that matters without the human element, and Forward lets you connect with your doctors and Care Team as needed.
How much does it cost?
Full membership for Forward — which includes our Heart Health program if you meet certain criteria, plus access to all of our other related programs like Primary Care, Stress & Anxiety, Weight Management and more — costs $149 per month or $1,788 per year. And you can use your HSA or FSA.
How do I know if it is right for me?
Finding out is easy: take our quick quiz to examine some risk factors and concerns. It’ll help you clarify your goals and build a plan to reach them!