.The study, led by David J. Magid, M.D., M.P.H., at Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver, followed people who use the American Heart Association's Heart360 program.
Heart360 is a free, online tool for tracking heart health where users can upload blood pressure data from their home blood pressure machines and send it to their health providers. Heart360 also provides patients with educational information and allows them to track progress towards their health goals.
Two groups of patients with high blood pressure were compared. One group of 175 patients used home blood pressure monitoring with Heart360. Their care was managed by clinical pharmacists trained to monitor and adjust medications. A second group of 173 patients received usual care, in which they were advised that their blood pressure was high, received written educational materials on managing high blood pressure, diet, and physical activity, and were instructed to follow-up with their primary care physician.
At 6 months, 54 percent of the Heart360/home monitoring group had reached their goal blood pressure, while 35 percent of the usual care group did. The benefits of Heart360/home blood pressure monitoring were even greater in people with diabetes or chronic kidney.
Uncontrolled hypertension is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. Lowering blood pressure to recommended levels has been shown to reduce the occurrence of these events. Of the 76 million U.S. adults with hypertension, more than half have uncontrolled blood pressure.