The Potential of mHealth Applications in Improving Resistant Hypertension Self-Assessment, Treatment and Control

Karla Santo*, Julie Redfern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of Review:

To review the evidence supporting the use of mobile health (mHealth) apps to improve resistant hypertension self-assessment, treatment and control. 

Recent Findings:

mHealth apps have been used to directly measure blood pressure (BP) levels, either using the oscillometric method with automated inflatable cuffs or using pulse wave signals detected by smartphone technology without the need for cuffs. These app-based BP monitors tend to over or underestimate BP levels when compared to a gold standard aneroid sphygmomanometer. However, the differences in BP measurements are within the acceptable range of 5 mmHg pre-defined by the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol Revision 2010. mHealth apps are also used as tools to support physicians in improving hypertension treatment. App-based clinical decision support systems are innovative solutions, in which patient information is entered in the app and management algorithms provide recommendations for hypertension treatment. The use of these apps has been shown to be feasible and easily integrated into the workflow of healthcare professionals, and, therefore particularly useful in resource-limited settings. In addition, apps can be used to improve hypertension control by facilitating regular BP monitoring, communication between patients and health professionals, and patient education; as well as by reinforcing behaviours through reminders, including medication-taking and appointment reminders. Several studies provided evidence supporting the use of apps for hypertension control. Although some of the results are promising, there is still limited evidence on the benefits of using such mHealth tools, as these studies are relatively small and with a short-term duration. 

Summary: 

Recent research has shown that mHealth apps can be beneficial in terms of improving hypertension self-assessment, treatment and control, being especially useful to help differentiate and manage true and pseudo-resistant hypertension. However, future research, including large-scale randomised clinical trials with user-centred design, is crucial to further evaluate the potential scalability and effectiveness of such mHealth apps in the resistant hypertension context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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