A study of the use of home-based blood pressure monitors with results transmitted via the Web to patients' personal health records and clinicians showed significant progress in improving blood pressure control, according to preliminary results.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado and the American Heart Association conducted the study involving 348 patients, ages 18-85, with uncontrolled hypertension. After six months, patients using the home monitoring tools were 50% more likely to have their blood pressure controlled to healthy levels, compared with patients receiving usual hypertension care. Patients with the tools also had a significantly greater decrease in systolic blood pressure.

The home monitoring patients used a blood pressure device that uploaded data to a PHR from Microsoft HealthVault, and automatically transmitted blood pressure readings to Kaiser's electronic disease registry. Kaiser clinical pharmacists accessed the registry to monitor readings and consult with patients to adjust medications. The patients also had access via HealthVault to the American Heart Association's Heart360 online services to track and manage heart health.

--Joseph Goedert


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