Introduction: Uncontrolled hypertension is largely attributed to unsatisfactory doctor's engagement in its optimal management and to poor patients' compliance to therapeutic interventions. ICT and mobile Health solutions might improve these conditions, being widely available and providing highly effective communication strategies.
Objective: To evaluate whether ICT and mobile Health tools are able to improve hypertension control by improving doctors' engagement and by increasing patients' education and involvement, and their compliance to lifestyle modification and prescribed drug therapy.
Methods: In a pilot study, we have included 690 treated hypertensive patients with uncontrolled office blood pressure (BP), consecutively recruited by 9 general practitioners over 3 months. Patients were alternatively assigned to routine management based on repeated office visits or to an integrated ICT-based Patients Optimal Strategy for Treatment (POST) system including Home BP monitoring teletransmission, a dedicated web-based platform for patients' management by physicians (Misuriamo platform), and a smartphone mobile application (Eurohypertension APP, E-APP), over a follow-up of 6 months. BP values, demographic and clinical data were collected at baseline and at all follow-up visits (at least two). BP control and cardiovascular risk level have been evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the study.
Results: 89 patients did not complete the follow-up, thus data analysis was carried out in 601 of them (303 patients in the POST group and 298 in the control group). Office BP control (<;149/90 mmHg) was 40.0% in control group, and 72.3% in POST group at 6 month follow-up. At the same time Home BP control (<;135/85 mmHg average of 6 days) in POST group was 87.5%.
Conclusion: this pilot study suggests that ICT based tools might be effective in improving hypertension management, implementing positive patients' involvement with better adherence to treatment prescriptions and providing the physicians with dynamic control of patients' home BP measurements, resulting in lesser clinical inertia.