Digital health, in addition to remote monitoring and coaching, now plays a huge role in managing this condition. At GluCare, our data-driven digital therapeutics hypertensive program involves monitoring patients continuously. Our artificial intelligence platform flags out of range events and uses blood pressure readings to provide stratified risk scores for hypertension and several other cardiometabolic diseases.
Arterial Hypertension is one the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease and contributes to increased morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a condition which can be widely controlled; however, the actual rate of consciousness, treatment and control are disappointingly low.
The diagnosis assessment is conducted by analysing blood pressure measurements both in-clinic and at home. With connected technology and new devices, it is becoming easier to confirm the diagnosis. Out of clinic measurements are useful for diagnosing masked hypertension or to manage the condition over the long-term.
Most hypertension cases are classified as essential and related to ageing. Secondary hypertension (around 5-10 % of cases) is due to other conditions such as excess cortisol or aldosterone produced by the adrenal gland. Secondary hypertension could also result from the use of medications such as anti-inflammatory pills, oral contraceptives, or herbal substances such as ginseng. The cause can be multifactorial; however, genetic factor and the environment are determinants that can exacerbate the condition.
When using non-pharmacological therapy, lifestyle modification is essential. Guidelines are clear regarding how important it is to manage salt intake with recommendations for sodium intake varying between 1.5 to 2.0 mg per day.
Some tips to reduce salt intake:
- Buy fresh foods and cook at home
- Avoid salty processed meat. Use fresh meat, poultry, eggs and plant proteins instead
- When eating out in restaurants, order sauces and dressing in a separate dish and use less of them
- Replace salty sauces such as soy sauce and replace with pineapple juice or unseasoned rice vinegar
- Read labels: avoid food with more than 400 mg of sodium per serving
Pharmacologically, there are many options and sometimes it is necessary to combine two or three different types of medication for better control. The good news is nowadays this combination comes in a single tablet. The target is to maintain blood pressure around 130/80 mmHg for most patients to avoid cerebral diseases such as stroke and haemorrhage, coronary disease, heart failure, retinopathy, and kidney failure.
In addition, our latest generation band, available to patients in Q4 2021, will become the first wearable band to obtain nocturnal blood pressure readings without the need for a blood pressure cuff. This will allow our clinical team to receive night-time blood pressure readings from patients continuously, fundamentally changing the single point of measurement dilemma that has so far been the norm in hypertensive management.
Reference: Arterial Hypertension. The lancet. Volume 398, issue 10296.