Telemonitoring tied to fewer heart attacks, lower medical costs

News briefs

Published: December, 2020

If your doctor or pharmacist offers a service to monitor blood pressure measurements you send from home (called telemonitoring), consider taking advantage of it. Past research has shown that telemonitoring — often paid for by Medicare — may help you reduce your blood pressure. And a study published online Aug. 31, 2020, by Hypertension suggests telemonitoring is also associated with a long-term reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and medical costs. The recent study is a follow-up to a randomized controlled trial from 2013 that divided 450 people into two groups: those who received routine primary care, and those who received a year of telemonitoring services with a pharmacist who helped manage their treatment. People in the telemonitoring group had lower blood pressure for up to two years afterward, compared with people who received routine care. In the recently published follow-up, which followed the same participants for five years, researchers found there were about half as many heart attacks, strokes, and hospitalizations in the telemonitoring group as there were in the group that received routine care. Because there were fewer cardiovascular problems, people in the telemonitoring group also saved an estimated $1,900 each in medical costs.

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