In simple terms, connected health is a way of harnessing technology (and the internet) to help provide better healthcare. For a more detailed description check out this article.
For example, ‘wearables’ such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, or more affordable versions are good examples of the connected health system. In conjunction with your smartphone, the health information gathered can be stored or shared with your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) is recommended by several international guidelines on managing hypertension, including in Australia.1,2
In case you’re wondering why, these words from NPS Medicinewise, summarise the reason pretty succinctly:
“Compared to clinic measurements, home measurements are more reproducible, more strongly predict hypertensive end-organ disease, and are stronger predictors for cardiovascular events and mortality.”2
The Heart Foundation of Australia also supports HBPM for the simple reason that your blood pressure varies from day to day and throughout the day, making it difficult to get a true picture with just one reading in your doctor’s office.3 Reviewing your home-measured results with your doctor allows him or her to make more informed treatment decisions.3
While you could write these readings down on a piece of paper and take them to your next appointment, a ‘connected health’ approach takes blood pressure management to a whole new level.
What if you could track your progress with easy-to-read graphs? What if you could add in other health data such as activities, medication taken and steps from your smartphone? Best of all, what if you could share your results with your doctor – without being in the same room?
A broader definition of connected health also includes things like telehealth and eHealth records, because they also use digital technology to improve healthcare outcomes. So being able to capture and share your blood pressure information with your doctor can make this ‘new’ way of interacting with your doctor much easier.
While taking your blood pressure reading at home can provide the benefits outlined above, you still have to follow the recommendations of your doctor to achieve better results. The good news is that one of the most important ‘bonuses’ of living the connected health life is an improvement in self-management and adherence to medication.
If you’d like to join the ‘connected health’ movement, check out the Omron BP monitoring options here. Or if you already have a compatible device, download the free Omron Connect app.