Study: wireless devices improve blood pressure tracking, adherence

By Aditi Pai

iMetrikusA study conducted by the Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, showed wireless mobile technologies positively impact patient engagement and can be more effective than modem-based devices. The study was published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology in May.

In the 30 patient study, participants using Bluetooth-enabled wireless devices connected to a cellular-enabled hub recorded more frequent and a higher number of blood pressure readings than patients using modem-based devices.

Patients using wireless devices recorded on average three measurements every five days and patients using modem-based devices on average recorded one measurement every five days. When uploading data, patients with wireless-enabled devices uploaded their information on average twice every five days and those with modem-enabled devices uploaded once every 100 days. While the time it took patients to first upload their data was lower for the patients in the wireless-based device group at four days versus seven days, the time to first measurement didn't differ much.

Founder and Director of the Center for Connected Health Joseph Kvedar, MD, said in a press release "the less obtrusive the upload process, the better the level of patient engagement," but this increased engagement also "provides clinicians with timely data to facilitate improved patient-provider communication and more timely intervention."

The Center offers remote monitoring programs for chronic disease self-management in diabetes, hypertension and heart failure with two types of data transfer technology -- telephone modem-based devices and wireless-based devices. Of the 30 patients, drawn from three clinical practices, the median age was 61.7 years.

The data was collected after the fact, supported by a grant from the Verizon Foundation.