Wearing a cuffless device on the wrist to continuously monitor blood pressure was associated with a significantly lower systolic BP at 6 months among hypertensive adults, real-world results from Europe show.
“We don’t know what they did to reduce their blood pressure,” Jay Shah, MD, Division of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Phoenix, told this news organization.
“The idea is that because they were exposed to their data on a continual basis, that may have prompted them to do something that led to an improvement in their blood pressure, whether it be exercise more, go to their doctor, or change their medication,” said Dr. Shah, who is also chief medical officer for Aktiia.
Dr. Shah presented the study at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions, San Diego.
The study used the Aktiia 24/7 BP monitor; Atkiia funded the trial. The monitor passively and continually monitors BP values from photoplethysmography signals collected via optical sensors at the wrist.
After initial individualized calibration using a cuff-based reference, BP measurements are displayed on a smartphone app, allowing users to consistently monitor their own BP for long periods of time.
Aktiia received CE mark in Europe in January 2021 and is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Shah and colleagues analyzed systolic BP (SBP) trends among 838 real-world Aktiia users in Europe (age 57 ± 11 years; 14% women) who consistently used the monitor for 6 months.
Altogether, they had data on 375 (± 287) app interactions, 3,646 (± 1,417) cuffless readings per user, and 9 (± 7) cuff readings per user.
Traditional cuff SBP averages were calculated monthly and compared with the SBP average of the first month. A t-test analysis was used to detect the difference in SBP between the first and successive months.
On the basis of the mean SBP calculated over 6 months, 136 participants were hypertensive (SBP > 140 mm Hg) and the rest had SBP less than 140 mm Hg.
Hypertensive users saw a statistically significant reduction in SBP of –3.2 mm Hg (95% CI, –0.70 to –5.59; P < .02), beginning at 3 months of continual cuffless BP monitoring, which was sustained through 6 months.
Among users with SBP less than 140 mm Hg, the mean SBP remained unchanged.
“The magnitude of improvement might look modest, but even a 5 mm Hg reduction in systolic BP correlates to a 10% decrease in cardiovascular risk,” Dr. Shah told this news organization.
He noted that “one of the major hurdles is that people may not be aware they have high blood pressure because they don’t feel it. And with a regular cuff, they’ll only see that number when they actually check their blood pressure, which is extremely rare, even for people who have hypertension.”
“Having the ability to show someone their continual blood pressure picture really empowers them to do something to make changes and to be aware, [as well as] to be a more active participant in their health,” Dr. Shah said.
He said that a good analogy is diabetes management, which has transitioned from single finger-stick glucose monitoring to continuous glucose monitoring that provides a complete 24/7 picture of glucose levels.