Population and Public Health

Digital Connected Care: Self-Measured Blood Pressure to Manage Hypertension

Man taking blood pressure at home.

Thom EricksonDr. Joe HumphryThe Digital Connected Care article series elevates the conversation from tech talk to the practical application of remote patient monitoring in clinician designed workflows with evidence of improved outcomes without increasing staff burden.

Heart disease kills 650,000 people a year and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Hypertension is a major cause of heart disease, but it is easily controlled with medication and lifestyle changes. However, over half the cases of hypertension are not adequately monitored. Simply put, current evidence finds that the average resting blood pressure is the best predictor of cardiovascular risk and it should be used to diagnose and manage hypertension.

Self-Measured Blood Pressure is a Best Practice

Self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) is now established as a best practice by the American Heart Association and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s US Preventive Service Task Force for the prevention, detection, evaluation and management of high blood pressure in adults.

SMBP is a highly-structured protocol allowing patients to collect multiple blood pressures over 3-7 days and share the results with their providers. BP data actively generated by the patient (e.g. biometrics and surveys) increases patient engagement, encourages shared decision making with the health care team and results in significant improved blood pressure control.

Clinicians Must Lead Development

There is an opportunity to link SMBP remote patient monitoring (RPM) and well-designed analytics software to the specific needs of the patient and the primary care team using SMBP to manage hypertension. The American Heart Association and other national provider organizations need to translate the latest SMBP evidence and knowledge into clinical practice.

The primary care team needs to manage hundreds of patients with hypertension. Implementation of RPM that is clinically focused and easy to use is critical in the transition from reliance on office blood pressure measurements to managing hypertension with SMBP. There is no alternative given the size of the population at risk.

A Framework for Success

This case for managing hypertension can be a transferrable model for other chronic conditions. The clinical protocols differ, but the technical framework remains the same and success will be measured by patient outcomes. Data interoperability is key to making more data available to applications that support hypertension management and avoiding the fragmentation created by vendors’ specific data structure.

HIMSS Accelerate Health is working with a community of healthcare providers and system integrators to demonstrate the practical application of PGHD to specific workflows through the implementation of open standards-based software. You are invited to participate in this effort by joining the HIMSS Innovation Organization, Personal Connected Health Alliance.

Personal Connected Health Alliance

You are invited to help drive mainstream adoption of remote patient monitoring. HIMSS and its partners within the PCHAlliance aim to advance personal connected health through technological and business strategies.

Join the HIMSS Innovation Organization