• Connected devices being used to reduce hypertension

Two thirds of patients who used a connected device to measure their blood pressure daily managed to bring it down to within the normal range during a 90-day period, according to a study conducted by Ochsner Health Systems.

The data gathered by patients in their own homes was sent to a dedicated group of medical professionals, who offered healthcare advice and managed patients’ medication. They could also send text and email reminders to patients to measure their blood pressure and their medication, and convey messages of encouragement when patients are doing well.

After 90 days, 62% of patients receiving digital care had brought their blood pressure under control, compared with 15% of patients who were cared for using traditional methods.

Richard Milani, the chief clinical transformation officer at Ochsner, said: “When we look at satisfaction, people like the programme. They find it pleasurable and they think it’s much more meaningful for them than a usual care scenario, going to the doctor a few times a year.”

The average age of patients in the study was 67, and the report said that their enthusiasm for the project dispelled the myth that older people are wary of new technological solutions. Patient participation was said to be particularly high in the study: although patients were only required to send readings once a week, Ochner received 4.2 readings a week on average.