Using Remote Patient Monitoring To Manage Hypertension
High blood pressure is one of the most common public health concerns in the United States and is a prominent risk factor for stroke, cardiovascular disorders, kidney diseases, heart attack, and several other conditions.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it affects about 47% of people in the U.S., which comes up to about 116 million Americans. It caused nearly 500,000 deaths in 2018 alone, where hypertension was listed as the contributing or primary cause of death. In 2019, it was listed as the primary cause of death for almost 517,000 people. The treatment cost for this disease is paramount and costs the U.S. healthcare system more than $130 billion annually.
Although high blood pressure can be controlled adequately, several barriers impede the suitable management of this disease. With the rapid digitalization of today’s world, treatment for hypertension is shifting from orthodox methods to remote monitoring services.
Such remote blood pressure patient monitoring services aid in controlling hypertension in many ways, and this article aims at delving into them. Let’s get started!
What are the Barriers to apt Blood Pressure Management?
The American Medical Association says that the most common barriers to apt blood pressure management are:
- Masked hypertension: a condition that causes patients to appear to have regular blood pressure in a doctor’s checkup but a high blood pressure when at home.
- Clinical inertia: occurs when a patient’s treatment is not initiated or intensified by a care team when their blood pressure fluctuates from the set goal.
- Inconsistent and inadequate blood pressure measurement techniques
- Care team’s diminished use of evidence-based treatment protocols
- Lack of or poor patient participation in self-management of blood pressure
Only one-quarter of people have their blood pressure within adequate limits and under control. In contrast, the rest live with a medical condition that increases their cardiovascular disorders or stroke risk. Healthcare organizations are thus swiftly shifting to remote patient monitoring programs that can help enhance clinical outcomes and reduce costly treatments simultaneously.
What Role does RPM play in Managing Hypertension?
Remote patient monitoring for hypertension plays a significant role in providing healthcare professionals with a chance to intervene more promptly and prevent a manageable condition from becoming a health emergency that may require hospitalization.
RPM aids in combating all the barriers to hypertension monitoring as mentioned above and helps patients develop a consistent measurement technique that suits their medical condition. Patients with hypertension can also alter their lifestyle and behavior as per requirements for adequate management and record their BP readings consistently instead of waiting to visit a medical professional.
RPM plays a significant role in hypertension management for patients and healthcare providers by enabling them to make informed decisions based on statistics and trends. They can be alerted in real-time whenever a blood pressure reading fluctuates from a patient’s ideal range. When alerted, they can contact the patient or their family to try to comprehend what may have caused the fluctuation and which steps should be taken to bring their blood pressure back under control.
Simply put, remote blood pressure patient monitoring allows healthcare providers to treat their patients proactively and promptly.
Since RPM for hypertension also stores information periodically, it helps medical professionals to spot any abnormal trends in low or high blood pressure in the data. Deducing such trends allows them to understand how a specific treatment plan works and if existing prescriptions need to be updated.
It also aids in identifying the times when a patient’s blood pressure rises so that a medical professional can talk to them and determine the cause behind the fluctuations. Some daily life happenings, such as exercise, dehydration, diet, or stress, can cause changes in blood pressure.
Reviewing the stored data helps providers connect health and behavior to stress the significance of medical adherence.
Patient Engagement through RPM
An RPM program is a critical component in meaningfully engaging patients to take care of their own health. This engagement involves reinforcing the notion that patients hold the power to turn their lives around if they take more command over their lives and realize that lifestyle choices affect health significantly.
High blood pressure readings may result from stressful events or unhealthy diets, and showing these readings to patients systematically can help them realize their role in their treatment process.
Healthcare providers are gradually adding more devices in hypertension RPM to enhance care management and collect more data. Such devices may include weight scales and activity trackers that allow medical professionals to monitor a patient’s weight and activity level. These devices may also provide insight into their sleep quality and heart rate, offering more opportunities for healthcare providers to root out the causes of hypertension and make treatment recommendations. If you are looking to start your online care program with remote patient monitoring, SmartClinix is the most suitable choice for you. SmartClinix provides you with a one-stop for all your practice needs with its online hypertension, primary care, and cardiology program. Head over to SmartClinix right now to get to know more!
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.