Study: Home BP monitoring, online coordination can reduce hypertension

Home-based monitors that automatically transmit readings to a disease registry can have a significant effect on controlling hypertension, according to a new study.

The technology helped 58 percent of hypertension patients in the study group lower their blood pressure to healthy levels within six months, compared to 38 percent of those receiving conventional treatment for uncontrolled hypertension, researchers from Kaiser Permanente Colorado say. They reported preliminary findings Friday at the American Heart Association's 11th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Washington, D.C.

Patients in the study group were given blood-pressure cuffs that connected to PCs to transmit readings to Microsoft HealthVault accounts and to Kaiser's disease registry. Clinical pharmacists monitored patient BP, consulting with the patients to adjust medications as necessary. The participants managed their conditions with Heart360, a free online application from the American Heart Association that can receive and analyze data from HealthVault accounts.

"While the in-person doctor-patient relationship will always be a cornerstone of care, one day the use of coordinated, secure health information technologies based at home or work could complement visits in a medical office," KP Colorado clinical pharmacy specialist Kari Olson says in a press release.

For further information:
- take a look at this HealthDay News story in Businessweek
- read this Wall Street Journal blog post
- see the Kaiser/Microsoft press release