Study reveals effectiveness of text message-based remote monitoring for postpartum hypertension

May 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC -- Text messaging could hold the key to identifying postpartum women at-risk for developing potentially life-threatening complications resulting from preeclampsia, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results are presented on Monday, May 16 at the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology's (ACOG) Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC (poster #30-O).

Preeclampsia - the onset of high blood pressure resulting from pregnancy - is a leading cause of death and complications for women in the days following childbirth and discharge from the hospital. The sooner the doctors can detect the condition getting worse after delivery, the greater the chance there is of successful treatment with medication. However, since there is currently no effective way of predicting who is at-risk for increasing blood pressure, by the time worsening conditions are identified, patients often require more intensive care.

Recent ACOG guidelines recommend blood pressure monitoring via routine follow-up office visits within 72 hours of discharge and again at seven to ten days after childbirth. However, as many as 70 percent of patients do not attend these first follow-up appointments. With this in mind, and based on data showing that young women have high rates of cell phone use and text messaging, the Penn team hoped to determine whether implementing a remote blood pressure monitoring system for patients diagnosed with preeclampsia would allow them to identify advanced cases and intervene before hospital readmission is necessary.

"Platforms that take advantage of telemedicine technology allow clinical care teams to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely, and have been well established as an effective means of delivering care across a variety of specialties," said lead author Adi Hirshberg, MD, a fellow in the department of Obstetricics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "By monitoring blood pressure levels for our postpartum patients who are at home with new babies and can't always get to office visits, we can provide a convenient and effective way of identifying those who are at risk for complications and may require follow-up care before the situation becomes critical."

In the study, 32 patients previously diagnosed with preeclampsia were given blood pressure cuffs when discharged from the hospital after childbirth. For seven days following discharge, text messages were sent reminding patients to take a daily blood pressure reading and send the results to their care provider. Patients whose blood pressure was high were then asked to take additional readings. Eighty four percent of participants reported a blood pressure reading within 24 or 48 hours of discharge, and 65 percent continued reporting test results for at least five of the seven days. As a result of the reports, two patients were identified as having elevated blood pressure and were put on oral medications, but none of the participants required readmission to the hospital.

"Our results show that remote blood pressure monitoring via text messaging is an effective, convenient and patient-centered way of identifying patients who could be at risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications related to the condition," said senior author Sindhu Srinivas, MD, MSCE, director of Obstetrical Services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Further studies are necessary to determine the widespread efficacy of adopting telemedicine platforms for obstetrics care, but by all indications, it could become a cost-conscious way to improve care for patients, allowing them the convenience of staying home and lowering their risks of readmissions or complications."
-end-
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related Blood Pressure Articles from Brightsurf:

Children who take steroids at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots
Children who take oral steroids to treat asthma or autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots, according to Rutgers researchers.

High blood pressure treatment linked to less risk for drop in blood pressure upon standing
Treatment to lower blood pressure did not increase and may decrease the risk of extreme drops in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting position.

Changes in blood pressure control over 2 decades among US adults with high blood pressure
National survey data were used to examine how blood pressure control changed overall among U.S. adults with high blood pressure between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018 and by age, race, insurance type and access to health care.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

Effect of reducing blood pressure medications on blood pressure control in older adults
Whether the amount of blood pressure medications taken by older adults could be reduced safely and without a significant change in short-term blood pressure control was the objective of this randomized clinical trial that included 534 adults 80 and older.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.

New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.

Read More: Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.