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Home Health Monitoring May Significantly Improve Blood Pressure Control, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds
Date:5/21/2010

visits.

The home monitoring group used an at-home blood pressure device that uploaded data to the patient's account in Microsoft HealthVault, a security enhanced, Web-based data storage platform. At the time of entering the study, the participants opted into a Kaiser Permanente application that automatically transferred the home blood pressure readings to Kaiser Permanente's electronic disease registry. Kaiser Permanente's clinical pharmacists used the computerized registry to monitor readings and consulted with patients to adjust their antihypertensive medications based on proven protocols. Connected to HealthVault, patients were able to manage their data using Heart360, a free online tool provided by the American Heart Association.

At the start of the study, the average systolic blood pressure was 149 mm Hg in the home monitoring group and 145 mm Hg in the usual care group. At six months, patients in the home monitoring group were 50 percent more likely to have their blood pressure controlled to healthy levels compared to the usual care group. Similarly, a significantly greater decrease in systolic blood pressure at six months occurred in the home monitoring group (-21 mm Hg) versus the usual care group (-9 mm Hg).

Health experts have long known that the current approach to managing hypertension has its shortcomings. Patients often don't comply with in-person visits and when they do, the measurements can be inconsistent or inaccurate. In light of these shortcomings, the American Heart Association recently began recommending home monitoring. However, prior research conducted by Dr. Magid found that when patients used home monitoring, but were required to write down and call-in results, blood pressure goals only slightly improved. This latest study provides an additional layer of automation and convenience by directly feeding the readings from the home blood pressure cuf
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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