Recruitment for a mobile health pilot study begins this week. The RCT is led by Lorraine Buis, PhD, assistant professor, and seeks to determine preliminary feasibility and acceptability of a new mobile health intervention, BPTrack, to improve hypertension-related outcomes, particularly for underserved urban minorities. BP Track is a mobile application that connects patients with their pharmacists to improve hypertension medication management and blood pressure monitoring. The app was developed by Dr. Buis and Tactio Health. The apps launched in the Google and Apple app stores on October 20th.
Twenty-five subjects will be equipped with Bluetooth-enabled BP monitors and the BPTrack mobile app, and required to send over their patient-generated data through BPTrack to clinical pharmacists, who will intervene as necessary when remotely observing uncontrolled hypertension using the corresponding BPTrack Pharm mobile app.
Hypertension (HTN), one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors, affects about 78 million Americans and burdens the US healthcare system with an estimated $42.9 billion in direct costs. Home BP monitoring is an important and effective strategy for HTN management, yet reliance on patient-maintained paper-based logs may lead to problems with data quality and latency, which compromise effective and efficient use in primary care.
"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. 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," said Dr. Buis.
Dr. Buis' research focuses on the use of communication technologies for health promotion and chronic disease self-management, and she holds a joint appointment with the Department of Family Medicine and the University of Michigan School of Information. This project is funded by a four-year $2.9 million RO1 grant from the NIH. Dr. Buis was also awarded a $25,000 MICHR grant to develop BPTrack and BPTrack Pharm, with the help of partners Tactio Health and U-M Office of Tech Transfer. The study protocol can be found in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and a press release for the pilot was featured on MobiHealthNews.
The pilot study begins limited recruitment this week. Participants must meet certain clinical eligibility criteria, which are as follows:
- Be ≥18 years of age, but less than 66 years of age.
- Have been previously diagnosed with hypertension (HTN)
- Have uncontrolled HTN (SBP > 140 and/or DBP > 90 on repeat measurement)
- Be under the care of a primary care physician at the Ypsilanti Health Center, in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- Be taking at least one antihypertensive medication
Individuals interested in participating in the small BPTrack pilot, may contact their primary care doctor at the Ypsilanti Health Center for more information.