Digital Health Program Helps Reduce Blood Pressure, Study Finds

Samara Rosenfeld
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
heart rate

Patients who used an artificial intelligence Hypertension Management program paired with a connected home blood pressure monitoring device for controlling hypertension saw a systolic blood pressure reduction of 8.4 mm Hg after six months, according to new research from Lark Health and Omron Healthcare.

The average starting diastolic blood pressure decreased by 6.4 mm Hg after six months.

“These findings endorse the efficacy of home blood pressure monitoring and coaching to empower and engage patients in effective hypertension management,” said Jim Li, Ph.D., executive director of medical affairs at Omron Healthcare, a developer of heart health and wellness products.

The study consisted of 76 participants with an average age of 61.8 years. Participants had a starting average systolic blood pressure of 139.2 mm Hg.

Each participant enrolled in Lark’s Hypertension Management program, which includes regular blood pressure collections and hypertension-specific coaching. The program interprets blood pressure measurements and contains hypertension education, hypertension-specific nutrition coaching through voice or text and medication adherence guidance.

Participants also received the Omron 7 Series wireless blood pressure monitor, which is connected via Bluetooth and records blood pressure readings for the Lark platform to analyze.

During the study, participants were required to take at least three home blood pressure measurements within the first two days of enrolling in the Lark program. Participants also needed to take three home measurements within two weeks of the six-month mark, which marked the end of the study.

On average, participants’ systolic blood pressure dropped to 130.8, while diastolic blood pressure decreased from 89 to 82.6.

Nearly one in two adult Americans have high blood pressure, which puts them at-risk for conditions like stroke, cardiovascular disease and stroke, said Julia Hu, CEO and co-founder of Lark.

But prior research has shown that a five mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure is associated with a 22% reduction in coronary heart disease events and a 41% reduction in stroke.

Stroke costs the health plan or public payor on average $20,396, Hu said in a statement to Inside Digital Health™.

"That adds up big time," she said. "It's really important that we get at-home hypertension control right since heart disease remains — by far — the leading cause of death in America."

Throughout the study, participants actively engaged with the platform, researchers found. Participants averaged 141 one-on-one counseling session with their coach and 185 blood pressure measurements — one per day.

What’s more, the participation satisfaction score was 9.45 out of 10.

The study offers evidence that digital health solutions, when combined with at-home monitoring, could improve outcomes for patients while reducing the cost of care.

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