By Jim Reilly, Vice President, Healthcare Division
Stroke is a leading cause of disability, cognitive impairment, and death in the United States, accounting for approximately 1.7% of the nation’s health expenditures.1 The total cost associated with stroke is estimated to be $103.50 billion annually, and these numbers are expected to rise dramatically due to the aging population. Over the next half-century, stroke costs in the U.S. are projected to exceed 2.2 trillion dollars.1-2 As the economic burden of stroke continues to grow over the next several decades, further efforts to increase stroke prevention are not only critical but are necessary.
The good news is that evidence suggests 80% of strokes are preventable. One key factor in preventing stroke is blood pressure control. Blood pressure control and hypertension management have been shown to reduce stroke risk and are major components of stroke prevention strategies.1
The Role of Remote Patient Monitoring for Blood Pressure Control and Hypertension Management
The use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) has been shown to substantially improve blood pressure control and hypertension management. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found home blood pressure telemonitoring combined with pharmacological management significantly lowered blood pressure for up to 24 months.3
Research published by the American Heart Association demonstrated that remote patient monitoring (RPM) was able to substantially reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) compared to usual care and self-monitoring alone. Furthermore, the American Heart Association supports initiatives that increase access to and incentivize the use of evidence-based RPM technologies.4
In addition to improving blood pressure control and hypertension management, RPM has been shown to address common issues that occur within the office-based setting, such as getting an accurate blood pressure reading. Often referred to as the “white coat syndrome,” a significant number of patients experience elevated blood pressure when in a clinical setting, which can make hypertension more challenging to accurately diagnose. Inadequate measurement technique and measurement bias may also contribute to inaccurate office-based blood pressure readings. RPM addresses these challenges by providing:5
- Better Monitoring: Frequent blood pressure monitoring over extended periods of time provide a more accurate assessment of a patient’s blood pressure and risk of potential cardiovascular events.
- Earlier Interventions: Access to patients’ daily blood pressure readings helps providers better assess and make adjustments in treatment, as necessary.
- More Comprehensive Treatment: RPM can signal the effectiveness of treatment and prompt earlier changes in therapy to get blood pressure under control faster.5
RPM provides increased visibility into patient adherence enabling a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health over time. It gives providers the ability to review and analyze patients’ daily vitals while receiving actionable health data to triage and treat patients faster. RPM enables providers to deliver more effective, preventive and acute care, resulting in fewer hospitalizations, better outcomes and reduced costs.