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Motivating hypertensive patients to their own treatment

CARDIOSTROKE is a Finnish research project that investigates the association between hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and stroke. The study aims to motivate patients to participate in treating their blood pressure levels with remote patient monitoring. Patients measure their blood pressure at home, and measurement results are automatically transferred to a pressure portal built with Medixine Suite.

Hypertension is a common condition that often goes untreated. It’s usual that a patient’s blood pressure levels are measured only for a few days before their annual doctor’s appointment. This approach can lead to a situation where elevated blood pressure levels go undetected, sometimes resulting in a delay in treatment.

In the CARDIOSTROKE study, patients are divided into two randomized groups. Patients in the intervention group regularly monitor their blood pressure over a period of one year. This approach provides researchers with comprehensive and continuous information on blood pressure levels. In the second control group, patients are only required to monitor their blood pressure at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Reliable data about vital signs

“The model we are using in this study provides reliable data on the patient’s blood pressure level ​on a monthly basis. This may significantly benefit hypertension treatment”, says the project’s researcher, MD Tuomas Lumikari.

“Between these measurement periods, the nursing staff may not have any realistic idea of ​​the blood pressure levels”, Lumikari continues.

Illustration of patient measuring his blood pressure at home

Patients participating in the study are examined and treated in the hospital according to standard medical procedures. When the hospital care ends, the patient will receive a blood pressure monitor and an Android phone featuring Medixine Hub software. This will automate the value transfer process to the blood pressure portal.

Patients in the intervention group monitor their blood pressure at weekly intervals. The measurement results transfer automatically to the blood pressure portal, which is accessible to the patient, attending physician, and the research team. Patients in the control group monitor their blood pressure levels at the beginning of the study and again one year later.

Individual advice automatically from the platform

Each patient’s portal contains plans orchestrated by their physician or the research team regarding what measures to take in response to changes in blood pressure. If individual limits are exceeded, the portal can automatically advise the patient to change their medication dosages or even contact the treating hospital.

The study, launched in 2018 with a pilot phase, recruits patients who´ve recently had a stroke. At present, the Neurocenter of Meilahti Hospital, Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, and Päijät-Häme Central Hospital are involved in the study, and more hospitals will join in the near future. About 65 patients have been enrolled over the past three years, and the aim is to have a sample of 405 patients by the end of the study. According to Lumikari, the investigation will continue for another 2-3 years.

The first official preliminary results of the study are expected in autumn 2021. Lumikari has a feeling that patients are well motivated for this new model of monitoring and treatment.

Excellent commitment level

“The patients involved are excellently committed to the study, which indicates that the approach is effective”, Tuomas Lumikari says.

Lumikari is satisfied with the portal produced by Medixine and with the support for remote monitoring devices.

“From the beginning, I have been pleased that Medixine has always been able to catch up very quickly on what the medical problem of research is and what kind of technical solutions could be produced to support it. We have always received the first draft and concrete proposals for solutions to the problems quickly”.

Tuomas Lumikari

When developing new innovations, Lumikari sees that cooperation between companies and research is essential.

“It’s rare to see a company or a research organization with all the expertise to create new remote-based care practices”, he states.

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