Partners tests remote blood pressure monitoring

Boston healthcare giant Partners HealthCare has kicked off a new experiment under which it will monitor employee health by tracking high blood pressure online. Partners is rolling out the pilot with Boston-area IT management firm EMC, which has agreed to find 400 employees with high blood pressure to participate. The study will involve having half of these employees measure their blood pressure twice a week, using wired cuffs which transmit the readings wirelessly to researchers. (The other 200 employees will serve as a control group.) Researchers will call employees whose blood pressure is particularly high; otherwise, employees will be offered automated advice each week via a secure website. The effort comes as part of Partners' investment in telemedicine; the health system has budgeted $6 million over four years to establish telemedicine programs to manage diabetes, emphysema, depression and high blood pressure.

To get more details on the project:
- read this Boston Globe piece