Tech powers Brigham and Women's Hospital home-based hypertension program

By | January 21, 2019

A new home-based care delivery program is able to rapidly improve hypertension control rates while significantly lowering cost, compared with traditional office-based blood pressure interventions.

Developed by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the program leverages an expert‐developed clinical algorithm, Bluetooth‐enabled devices that provide home blood pressure measurements transmitted wirelessly into the electronic health record, as well as patient coaching.

In a pilot study with 130 enrolled participants, 81 percent of patients were able to bring their blood pressures under control in—on average—just seven weeks.

“This is a striking result, especially given the very short time frame in which control was reached,” says Naomi Fisher, MD, director of hypertension services and the Hypertension Specialty Clinic at BWH. “There are a few notable healthcare systems that have matched or exceeded this control rate, but most clinical practices do not approach this rate of success.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The study, published in Clinical Cardiology, noted that blood pressure control was reached similarly across races, genders and ages—and without a large increase in pill burden, suggesting that much of the benefit in blood pressure was achieved through improved adherence and maximizing drug choice and doses.

“A home‐based BP control program run by non‐physicians can provide efficient, effective and rapid control, suggesting an innovative paradigm for hypertension management,” conclude the authors. “This program is effective, sustainable, adaptable and scalable to fit current and emerging national systems of healthcare.”

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Going forward, the BWH team plans to scale up the remote non‐physician led hypertension management program to test its generalizability and sustainability.

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“The time-honored model of treating hypertension via traditional visits to the doctor is neither effective nor sustainable,” Fisher adds. “Development of innovative solutions to manage hypertension effectively and efficiently, and thus reduce the cardiovascular risk burden in larger populations, is critical. Organizations can and should develop and adopt innovative technologies to create sustainable solutions for the control of hypertension.”

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