Early research suggests technology can help improve blood pressure control rates

Published on September 25, 2023

Preliminary research shows that a remote digital monitoring program helped improve blood pressure control rates by over 30% among underserved populations nationwide, according to investigators at the University of Iowa (UI) College of Public Health.   

The findings, presented at an American Heart Association scientific meeting in early September, suggest the electronic platform could effectively engage patients and improve medication adherence for a chronic condition that affects 47% of U.S. adults. Medication to treat high blood pressure is effective, yet approximately half of all patients do not take medicines as prescribed.

The study team included UI clinical associate professor of health management and policy Kenneth Anderson and researchers from CAREMINDr, a Silicon Valley company specializing in remote patient care technologies.  

“Our research indicates that using this technology to gather and prioritize data and facilitate a clinic’s efficient response can markedly improve blood pressure control in a real-world, underserved population,” says Anderson. 

The research included 2,500 patients at 43 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) across the U.S. Patients were prompted to submit home-recorded blood pressure (BP) readings along with responses to questions about medication adherence on a daily or weekly basis to health clinic staff. The clinic reviewed data in real-time and provided coaching or treatment changes as needed. The digital program was available in both English- and Spanish-language versions.

Of the 2,500 study participants, 30.7% had an initial controlled BP and 61.2% demonstrated a final controlled BP measurement. In patients with an initial uncontrolled BP, 55.4% had a controlled final BP. Among Spanish-language version users, 35.2% and 70.4% had controlled BPs on initial and final measurements, respectively, with 66.0% of initially uncontrolled BP patients having a controlled final BP.