MANAGING BLOOD PRESSURE

30 Jun

Peter Drucker, the famous management guru, once said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. So do we need to regularly measure our blood pressure to manage it? According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics, as of 2008 1 in 3 Americans, an estimated 68 million has high blood pressure. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 30% of American adults have prehypertension, i.e. blood pressure that is higher than normal but not yet in the high blood pressure range. Prehypertension if not managed, raises the risk for high blood pressure. Medscape, a popular web resource for physicians and healthcare professionals, reports that Hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for coronary heart disase ( the leading cause of death in North America), stroke (the third leading cause), congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disases and peripheral vascular disease. 

One day, when I was told that my blood pressure was in the border line I did a bit of research and the numbers above alarmed me. The good news was that in most cases, especially if you are in the borderline or prehypertensive, it can be controlled with diet and excercise. Ofcourse one strong recommendation is to quit smoking. I was a smoker for 10 years and I can empathize with anyone who is trying to give it up. But you can see the difference in just a matter of days. While reading a book on the benefits of the DASH diet on hypertension by Marla Heller, I came across some interesting facts. Apparently within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse rate normalizes. Within 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood normalizes. After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is almost the same as for someone who never smoked. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of a stroke or heart disease is the same as a lifelong non-smoker. So its never too late to quit. Managing your blood pressure starts with you taking the initiative and control of your health. 

Combination of quality improvement strategies, e.g. keeping track of your blood pressure on a regular basis can vastly improve patient outcomes as per a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality(AHRQ). Blood pressure can be measured at home and regularly taking measurements and recording these measurements can significantly improve managing your blood pressure. You can take advantage of today’s mobile technology, computing power, connectivity and tools that can help you manage your blood pressure measurements to keep track and share your progress with your doctor. 

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Smart Blood Pressure Logo

30 Jun

Video

SmartBP Video

30 Jun

Smart Blood Pressure (“SmartBP”) is a blood pressure management tool for patients suffering from hypertension and prehypertension. This tool allows patients to monitor, maintain and analyze their blood pressure data. In addition, it can generate reports and allows to share them with doctor and family using an iPhone. This provides the opportunity to take rapid decisions related to the health of the patient almost instantly which can have a significant impact in improving the quality of care. Smart Blood Pressure recently launched and is available in the Apple App Store and can be downloaded for free! Here is the link to download the apphttp://www.itunes.com/apps/smartbloodpressure