Pulling pharmacists into real time care teams

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

A home health monitoring project launched by the University of Michigan is giving clinical pharmacists a role that might have previously been handled by the doctor or even a nurse enabling them to intervene quickly when a patient reports blood pressure problems. 

The projec will equip 25 patients of the University of Michigan's Department of Family Medicine with Bluetooth-enabled BP monitors and Tactio mobile apps. The patients will be required to send their blood pressure readings through the TactioRPM platform to clinical pharmacists, who can intervene when those readings indicate hypertension.

"This study seeks to put patient collected data into the hands of a healthcare provider who has the ability to act on that data in near-real time," Lorraine Buis, an assistant professor in the university's Department of Medicine and the project's leader, said in a press release. "I am excited by the opportunity to connect patients with their care team in a way that has the potential to dramatically change routine clinical practice in primary care. By using the TactioRPM platform to connect patients with their providers, and by better understanding how to meaningfully integrate this technology into a clinical setting, we have the potential to demonstrate the full benefit that mobile health has to offer."

Hypertension affects about 78 million Americans and costs the nation's healthcare system almost $43 billion annually, and it's hard to corral when doctors rely on blood pressure readings at selected times, such as a visit to a doctor's office or clinic. Home health monitoring platforms using mHealth devices could help curtail this serious cardiovascular risk by giving clinicians access to BP data in real time.

The project also highlights the ever-shifting nature of care teams. 

"Tactio is honored to be chosen by such a prestigious research institution to support a forward-looking project that is important not only in the context of public health but also recognizes the potential for using the highly skilled and available professional pharmacist workforce to support proactive management of patients with chronic disease," said Michel Nadeau, P.Eng., CEO of the Tactio Health Group, a Montreal-based developer of remote patient monitoring solutions, in the press release.

See also: 

Study finds some hypertension apps making misleading claims

A national mHealth project targets hypertension

Uncovering the ROI in a remote monitoring program

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