A pharmacist-led home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) program supported by the American Heart Association's Heart 360 website dramatically improved blood pressure control for patients with uncontrolled hypertension, according to a study.
More than 350 patients with uncontrolled hypertension, ages 18 to 85 years, and with Internet access were randomized to the Usual Care (UC) group or the HBPM group. All patients had their blood pressure measured in the clinic at the start of the study and at six months.
Heart360.org is the American Heart Association's free online heart health management center. A patient can securely track and manage blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, physical activity, weight and medications, then easily share that information directly with their healthcare provider.
The HBPM group used the Heart 360 to transmit home blood pressure readings via the Internet to clinical pharmacy specialists, who made adjustments to patients' antihypertensive medications based on proven protocols.
At the start of the study, the average systolic blood pressure was 149 mm Hg in the HBPM group and 145 mm Hg in the UC group. At six months, a significantly greater proportion of patients in the HBPM group had their blood pressure controlled to healthy levels (58 percent) compared to the UC group (38 percent). Similarly, a significantly greater decrease in systolic blood pressure at six months occurred in the HBPM group (-21 mm Hg) versus the UC group (-9 mm Hg).
Researchers said, when compared to the traditional model of clinic check-ups the study results suggest that blood pressure is better managed when patients have access to HBPM, online tools and a team of specialists who use the HBPM data to coordinate care.
Explore further: Native American tribes converge to discuss pot legalization