Automated calls help patients in under-developed countries manage blood pressure
U-M medical student, Hema Datwani, screens patient for study eligibility in Mexico. Credit: University of Michigan Health System
Hypertension is one of the greatest epidemics threatening the health of people in low and middle-income countries.
For patients struggling with high blood pressure in countries with limited access to health care, the key to improving health may be as simple as a phone call.
New University of Michigan research evaluated the impact of automated calls from a U.S.-based server to the mobile phones of patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) in Honduras and Mexico. The program was designed to be a low-cost way of providing long distance checkups and self-management education.
Patients were provided with home blood pressure monitors and reported information about their blood pressure, medication use and symptoms during the weekly automated calls. During the calls, they received tailored health information from U-M via a cloud computing system.
Compared to patients receiving usual care, those who received the weekly 12-minute calls for six weeks were more likely to say that they understood how to take their medication, experienced fewer depressive symptoms and were more satisfied with care. Blood pressures decreased significantly, especially among patients with the greatest need for education about their hypertension management.
"What some people may not realize is that the biggest health threats in less-developed countries aren't just communicable diseases like HIV. Chronic disease and high blood pressure are the biggest killers," says lead author John D. Piette, Ph.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.
"Our work shows that mobile technology can be used to help people living in poor areas of the world that don't have the infrastructure for health services. It was gratifying to see how something based at U-M could give these patients in remote areas information they needed to manage their hypertension."
The results were published in Telemedicine and e-Health.
Despite high poverty levels in both Honduras and Mexico, up to 70 percent of the population has a cell phone – making it an instrumental tool to improve access to health monitoring and information, Piette says. The telehealthcare model had the most successful outcomes among people who had limited literacy – averaging just six years of formal education – and who lived on an average income of $2,900 a year.
Hypertension is a leading cause of the global epidemic of cardiovascular diseases and is a top health issue in Latin America where more than 100 million adults are hypertensive and rates among men are the highest in the world. Two-thirds of people with high blood pressure live in low and middle income countries.
"Our work provides evidence that this model of telehealthcare can deliver meaningful services to patients in remote areas of the world lacking access to health services," says Piette, who is also senior research scientist with the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. "We hope to further study how this model helps with other conditions such as diabetes or depression."
More information: "Hypertension Management using Mobile Technology and Home Blood Pressure Monitoring: Results of a Randomized Trial in Two Low/Middle-Income Countries," Telemedicine and e-Health, doi:10.1089/tmj.2011.027
Provided by University of Michigan Health System
- US economic woes ripple all the way to Latin America, study shows Mar 26, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Take your blood pressure meds before bed Oct 24, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Home blood pressure monitoring plus Web-based pharmacy care helps improve blood pressure control Jun 25, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Modern 'House Call' is Cost-Effective Model for Improving Blood Pressure Oct 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Hypertension control in Canada has improved significantly May 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 9 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Kate O'Reilly's spring allergy survival kit includes the usual stuff - nasal sprays, allergy pills and a box of tissues. This season, she's added a new weapon to her line of defense: an app on her smartphone.
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0