NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System will expand a monitoring program using Apple HealthKit to patients with COPD and diabetes after a successful trial for patients with hypertension.
Ochsner Health has found that home health technology helps bridge the gap between physician visits for patients with chronic diseases, said Dr. Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation officer.
“Coming in to a physician’s office to get checked infrequently is not enough—we’re missing everything in between,” he said. “We know that home measurements are more representative of what’s happening than office readings. The key is having connected information, so patients and physicians are sharing the same information the moment it’s happening.”
Patients involved in the trial used an Apple Watch and an integrated blood pressure monitor to send readings directly to physicians. Ochsner Health provided the watch and participants purchased the recommended wireless blood pressure monitor.
Milani said the trial took patients whose blood pressure was out of control, and brought it under control.
“Within 90 days, 70% of them had their blood pressure where it should be,” he said.
Patients involved in the hypertension trial loved the process, Milani said, because they were involved in their own care and were seeing the results of their efforts.
“People want to do more than take a pill,” he said. “Now they have access to more information about their condition than ever before, and they know that someone is looking at it and keeping a close eye on them.”
Ochsner Health, which comprises 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals, and more than 60 health centers, aims to roll out a similar monitoring program for diabetes patients this summer, then take on COPD in the fall or winter.