Telemonitoring: use in the management of hypertension
Darshi Sivakumaran,1 Kenneth Anthony Earle1,2
1Thomas Addison Unit, St George's Hospital, London, UK; 2Clinical Sciences, St George's University of London, London, UK
Abstract: Hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular, retinal, and kidney disease. In the past decade, attainment rates of treatment targets for blood pressure control in the UK and US have increased; however, <11% of adult men and women have achieved adequate blood pressure control. Technological advances in blood pressure measurement and data transmission may improve the capture of information but also alter the relationship between the patient and the provider of care. Telemonitoring systems can be used to manage patients with hypertension, and have the ability to enable best-practice decisions more consistently. The improvement in choice for patients as to where and who manages their hypertension, as well as better adherence to treatment, are potential benefits. An evidence base is growing that shows that telemonitoring can be more effective than usual care in improving attainment rates of goal blood pressure in the short-to-medium term. In addition, studies are in progress to assess whether this technology could be a part of the solution to address the health care needs of an aging population and improve access for those suffering health inequalities. The variation in methods and systems used in these studies make generalizability to the general hypertension population difficult. Concerns over the reliability of technology, impact on patient quality of life, longer-term utility and cost–benefit analyses all need to be investigated further if wider adoption is to occur.
Keywords: telehealth, health surveillance, virtual-led clinic
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