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What's the future of remote patient monitoring?

December 1, 2022

Ask the doctor

photo of a man using a home blood pressure monitoring deviceQ. I use a home blood pressure machine, and my doctor says it helps her take better care of me. Are there other home machines, measuring other aspects of my health, that also could help her, and me?

A. There’s a growing number of devices that monitor your body throughout the day, and many more are coming in the future. Nearly 50 million people in the United States currently use such "remote patient monitoring" devices. Home blood pressure machines were among the first. Most of them require that you put a cuff around your arm; then, you tap a button, the cuff starts to tighten, and after 30 seconds or so, the cuff relaxes and the machine shows your blood pressure on a little screen. That’s neat, but the machine only measures your blood pressure when you remember to do so. And it typically doesn’t send the results automatically to your doctor. Also, it’s not with you all the time, like when someone says or does something that would raise anyone’s blood pressure.

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About the Author

photo of Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff is the Steven P. Simcox/Patrick A. Clifford/James H. Higby Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and editor in chief of the Harvard … See Full Bio
View all posts by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

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