For the new study, researchers compared two types of care for moderately severe, uncontrolled high blood pressure: traditional clinic-based care, using face-to face visits with doctors and medical assistants, and telehealth care, with home blood pressure telemonitoring and home-based care coordinated via telephone by a pharmacist or in some cases, a nurse. The research was conducted on 3,071 people, whose average age was 60, in a randomized trial involving 21 primary care clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The telehealth and the clinic-based care were both successful in lowering blood pressure on average by about 18 mmHg on the systolic blood pressure, the “top number” in a reading, and 10 mmHg on the diastolic measurement, or “bottom number.” But there was no significant difference in the change over time in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between the two groups, researchers found.
The study was published Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
“These results suggest telehealth team care by pharmacists is an effective and safe alternative to clinic-based care for uncontrolled hypertension,” said Dr. Karen Margolis, the study’s lead author.