UPenn to study how social accountability affects blood pressure monitoring adherence with Withings cuff

By Aditi Pai
10:18 am
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Withings BPMThe University of Pennyslvania plans to conduct a study that will examine if social incentives improve adherence to home blood pressure monitoring in patients with hypertension, according to the study description posted at ClinicalTrials.gov.

The patients involved in the trial will have a history of cerebral infarction and uncontrolled blood pressure. Researchers plan to recruit 90 people for the trial.

Participants who are recruited for the study must have an iOS or Android smartphone, but the University of Pennsylvania will provide participants with a Withings blood pressure cuff to monitor their blood pressure at home. Participants will be asked to take their blood pressure twice a day. In the control group, if a participant misses a reading, they will receive automated alerts reminding them to take their blood pressure. They will also receive weekly emails that include all of their blood pressure data for the week. 

In the social incentive group, participants will identify a social supporter who will help them adhere to their daily blood pressure readings. If the participant misses blood pressure readings, like the control group, they will receive automated alerts reminding them to take their blood pressure, but the social supporter will also receive these alerts. The social supporters will be expected to remind the subjects to take their blood pressure. In the social incentive group, both the participant and their social supporter will receive weekly emails with the participant's blood pressure data for the week.

Secondary outcome measures include change in blood pressure, number of physician visits, number of emergency department visits, number of phone calls to the study team, number of changes in antihypertensive medications, patients' perception of the Withings device's ease of use, and patients perception of blood pressure control.

The trial will last 90 days and the estimated start date for the study is June 2015.