smartphoneMobile technology is playing a critical role in helping consumers become more engaged in their own health and more proactive about controlling risk factors, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a keynote presentation Tuesday at Qualcomm Life’s Connect 2014 Conference in San Diego.

“All of us have gathered here with the shared goal of helping people improve their health,” Brown said. “As a community, we have an opportunity to help patients and consumers reframe their perspectives about their health. Technology is helping us do that by delivering information and guidance to patients wherever they are, and whenever they need it. Also, it allows patients and their doctors to connect on a daily basis, and makes it easy for individuals to track their fitness, what they eat, and other vital health numbers.”

In her presentation, titled “Life is Why: Empowering Consumers through Innovative Health Technologies,” Brown emphasized the importance of prevention through healthy lifestyles.

“We know there’s a tremendous payoff to good health, and that payoff is freedom. The freedom to enjoy every moment of every day. The freedom to live life to its fullest. The freedom to realize our dreams. All too often, people don’t realize how valuable this freedom is until they don’t have it anymore.”

“The focus of health care needs to transition beyond just fixing existing health problems,” she said. “It needs to be personalized and tailored to the individual goals, aspirations, and dreams of each patient. It’s not about point of care. It’s about point of life.”

She discussed the positive results of the association’s Heart360 online platform in helping people control and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Also, she highlighted the progress of the association’s CEO Roundtable, which has brought together the top executives from 22 U.S. companies in an effort to build a culture of health in the workplace. Employees at CEO Roundtable companies use the association’s online My Life Check program to evaluate their cardiovascular health based on seven key measures: blood pressure, blood glucose, blood cholesterol, weight/body mass index, smoking status, diet and physical activity.

“At the American Heart Association, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the role that technology is playing in health care, now and in the future,” Brown said. “Let’s never lose sight of why we’re working so hard to develop these devices, applications and software platforms, and that’s to help people make their dreams a reality. None of that is possible without good health.”