Israeli-Developed Mobile App Helps Reduce Blood Pressure, Study Shows
More than 84% of Hello Heart users managed to lower blood pressure over three years
An Israeli-developed mobile application has been shown to help over 84% of people with stage II hypertension lower their blood pressure, according to a new peer-reviewed study.
Hello Heart, a digital therapeutics company dually based in Israel and the United States, focuses exclusively on heart disease. Their digital health solutions include a smartphone app and a blood pressure monitor that provides personalized coaching and can help detect serious issues before they occur.
As part of the study, researchers tracked 28,189 Hello Heart users over the course of three years and found that the more engaged users were with the app, the more their blood pressure improved. The positive results were especially noticeable amongst those with stage II hypertension, which is the most severe form of hypertension.
The peer-reviewed research, published in the JAMA Network Open journal on Friday, is the longest and largest study of its kind to examine the health benefits of a digital therapeutic for high blood pressure.
“The study puts Hello Heart in a completely different place and sets a new bar for the evidence that is required or is expected of digital therapeutic solutions,” Maayan Cohen, CEO and co-founder at Hello Heart, told The Media Line.
“We help track [people’s] blood pressure and pulse in their day-to-day using our hardware, but we also connect to their clinic, Apple Health and Google Fit, so we have a very holistic view of their heart health,” she explained.
In addition to these monitoring features, the app also monitors lab results, medication and activity levels, enabling it to provide personalized health improvement suggestions. The app also alerts users to any irregularities that may be of concern.
Our data science team is now working on predictive algorithms to catch more risks in time and basically predict heart attacks. We’re very proud to save lives
One of the goals is to make it easy for people to understand how to better manage their health problems.
So far, over 100,000 people across the US have signed up for the solution.
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“Patients don’t really understand their conditions, they’re not engaged with their health and they sometimes don’t even perceive hypertension as a condition that they can manage,” Cohen said. “That’s why 75% of them don’t really have their blood pressure under control. What we do is help them understand what happens inside their body.”
While the app is currently limited to the US only, Hello Heart hopes to be able to expand operations to other countries.
They also plan to add further health metrics to the app, such as cholesterol levels, in the near future.
“Our data science team is now working on predictive algorithms to catch more risks in time and basically predict heart attacks,” Cohen revealed. “We’re very proud to save lives.”
Participants with stage II hypertension who took part in the research for the full three years had the most impressive results, with a mean systolic blood pressure reduction of 20.9 mmHG. Overall, the study showed that 69.9% of users with stage I hypertension and 84.8% of those with stage II hypertension had reduced their blood pressure just 12 weeks after they began using the app.
The level of engagement is something I have not seen in other digital hypertension management programs. Sustained engagement and decreases in systolic blood pressure of more than 20 mmHg could reduce a person’s chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death
“This is the first peer-reviewed, published study reporting the long-term experience of a digital health application for blood pressure management, with a magnitude of association that is clinically meaningful,” Dr. Alexis Beatty, a cardiologist and associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, and the lead author of the study, said in a statement that was shared with The Media Line.
“The level of engagement is something I have not seen in other digital hypertension management programs,” she said. “Sustained engagement and decreases in systolic blood pressure of more than 20 mmHg could reduce a person’s chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death.”