Purpose of Review: Mobile-health technology, frequently referred to as m-health, encompasses smartphone, tablet, or personal computer use in the management of chronic disease. There has been a rise in the number of commercially available smartphone applications and website-based platforms which claim to help patients manage hypertension. Very little research has been performed confirming whether or not use of these applications results in improved blood pressure (BP) outcomes. In this paper, we review existing literature on m-health systems and how m-health can affect hypertension management. Recent Findings: M-health systems help patients manage hypertension in the following ways: (1) setting alarms and reminders for patients to take their medications, (2) linking patients’ BP reports to their electronic medical record for their physicians to review, (3) providing feedback to patients about their BP trends, and (4) functioning as point-of-care BP sensors. M-health applications with alarms and reminders can increase medication compliance while applications that share ambulatory BP data with patients’ physicians can foster improved patient-physician dialog. However, the most influential tool for achieving positive BP outcomes appears to be patient-directed feedback about BP trends. Summary: A large number of commercially available m-health applications may facilitate self-management of hypertension by enhancing medication adherence, maintaining a log of blood pressure measurements, and facilitating physician-patient communication. A small number of applications function as BP sensors, thereby transforming the smartphone into a medical device. Such BP sensors often generate unreliable recordings. Patients must be cautioned regarding the use of smartphones for BP measurement at least until these applications have been more extensively validated.
- Hypertension and outcomes research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine