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Blood pressure monitoring apps don’t outperform standard devices

Researchers found no difference between the enhanced and standard self-monitoring



Enhanced self-monitoring of blood pressure using apps is not more effective than standard self-monitoring, a new study has found.

Technology advances have seen blood pressure cuffs paired with smartphone apps to interpret results – crucial for preventing stroke.

However, a new study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that enhanced self-monitoring of blood pressure using a device connected to an app is not superior to standard self-measured blood pressure (SMBP).

The researchers divided over 2,000 patients with high blood pressure into two groups. The first group were sent a standard blood pressure monitor while the people in the second group were sent the same monitor along with instructions to set up a smartphone app, deemed as an enhanced self-measurement method.

Participants received their device in the mail, along with web-based educational materials and phone-based support as needed.

After six months, both groups had small reductions in their blood pressure, but there was no difference between the two groups.

Although the authors hoped that the app would be a more efficient way of making at-home blood pressure management better, the results showed that enhanced self-monitoring was not more effective than standard practices.

While current devices are mainly air-cuff based, which can only provide measurements intermittently, continuous monitoring of blood pressure is crucial for preventing and predicting stroke, according to reports published in the National Library of Medicine.

Blood pressure apps have been repeatedly scrutinised by researchers, as a growing number of patients use mobile-health technologies to track and manage their conditions.

A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension found that out of the top 107 apps for hypertension and high blood pressure that the researchers analysed, nearly three quarters offered useful tools for tracking medical data.