In a cohort of patients with diabetes, remote self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) using a smartphone application significantly improved systolic BP control within 6 weeks, according to the results of a pilot study that will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 2019 Annual Scientific Session.1,2

Previous research has indicated that self-monitoring of BP at home can improve treatment adherence and outcomes in patients with hypertension. To test the efficacy of a smartphone application designed to wirelessly track BP, researchers gave 276 patients with diabetes and self-reported hypertension a Bluetooth-connected BP monitoring device for 6 weeks.1

After each BP reading, participants were able to review their results within the application and received reminders to take medications and adhere to healthier lifestyle habits.2 Education about hypertension management and access to health coaches were provided during the study period.1 The study’s primary endpoint was a reduction in systolic blood pressure at 6 weeks.2

At baseline, 173 participants (63%) had BP >130/80 mm Hg, reaching the threshold for stage 1 hypertension according to 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines.1,2 Patients who presented with stage 2 hypertension at baseline (BP >140/90 mm Hg) had a mean age of 53.3 ± 7.1 years, were 43% female, and had an average of 4 BP readings/week.

After the 6-week intervention using the smartphone application, BP decreased by 11.2 ± 15.6/5.18 ± 10.1 mm Hg (P =.004). In total, 33 prescriptions were refilled during the 6-week period and 13 new prescriptions were written.1

The researchers noted that the study was limited by the lack of a control group receiving usual care for hypertension.

“Participants who had the highest blood pressure at baseline were the most likely in multivariable modeling to see reductions in both systolic and diastolic pressure by the end of the study,” the researchers noted in a press release.2 “This suggested that regular blood pressure monitoring and awareness of blood pressure levels helped participants remember to take their medication as directed as well as undertake behavioral and lifestyle changes known to improve blood pressure control.”

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Disclosure: This research was funded by Livongo, a California-based health technology company that developed the smartphone application used in the study.

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References

  1. Shah BR, Xu T, Bollyky JB, Lu W, Painter S. Remote monitoring of blood pressure in T2D population decreases systolic blood pressure at 6 weeks: a pilot study. Presented at: American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session. March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans, LA. Abstract 19-A-17105-ACC.
  2. Remote blood pressure monitoring via smartphone app shows Promise [news release]. American College of Cardiology newsroom. March 6, 2019.

This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor