February 7th, 2022

Virtual Care Visits Demonstrate Effectiveness in Managing Hypertension in More Than 75 Percent of Patients During Pandemic

February 07, 2022 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

New Research From Included Health Finds Virtual Care With a Holistic Approach Controls Blood Pressure

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, utilizing virtual care visits to manage hypertensive patients demonstrated an improvement in blood pressure in 77 percent of patients.

“With recent reports that rates of adequately controlling hypertension in the U.S. have declined over the last decade, virtual care has demonstrated to be an effective model to provide improved hypertension care”

According to the CDC and American Heart Association, hypertension remains a significant population health issue in the U.S. and globally. Unfortunately, researchers in 2020 reported that rates of adequate control of hypertension have declined over the past decade and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to declines in in-person care to manage chronic health issues.

Researchers from Included Health and Stanford Health Care studied the effectiveness of video visits in the management of hypertensive patients at home during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 through February 2021. The study analyzed baseline characteristics and blood pressure trends of 569 patients, as well as their patient satisfaction ratings, over the study period. During the study, providers in Included Health’s virtual care network employed a holistic approach to hypertension, including attention to non-pharmacological lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, controlling weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation.

“With recent reports that rates of adequately controlling hypertension in the U.S. have declined over the last decade, virtual care has demonstrated to be an effective model to provide improved hypertension care,” said Dr. Shriram Nallamshetty, clinical assistant professor (affiliated) at Stanford Medicine and co-author of the study. “For chronic conditions like hypertension, we must consider the impact of the virtual care model in raising the standards of care for all patients.”

Key Findings Include:

  • 77 percent of the overall 569 patients studied experienced an improvement in either systolic or diastolic blood pressure, with mean reductions of -9.7 mm Hg and -6.8 mm Hg in systolic and diastolic blood pressures, respectively.
  • With blood pressure control defined as <140 mm Hg systolic/90 mm Hg diastolic, 416 patients in the study cohort started with a blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg. For this subset, 55.7 percent achieved a BP of <=140/90 by the end of the study period, and average reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were -17.9 mm Hg and -12.8 mm Hg respectively, corresponding to improvements of 11.2% and 12.4% respectively.
  • Mean patient age was 43.9 years and 48.3% were women. The overall study population was representative of the general U.S. population with regards to key demographic factors and clinical characteristics.
  • Patients reported a high degree of satisfaction with video visits as assessed by patient surveys that indicated a mean satisfaction score of 4.94 (5-point scale).

“We know declining control of hypertension leads to poor health outcomes and a significant financial burden on our healthcare system,” said Dr. Ian Tong, chief medical officer at Included Health. “With this latest data, we’ve shown that virtual care can offer an alternative solution for hypertension management when in-person visits may not be convenient or possible. New approaches to chronic disease management broadly are crucial to improving access to quality healthcare for those who need it most.”

The peer-reviewed study was co-authored by Dr. Prentiss Taylor, FACP (Included Health), Dr. Shriram Nallamshetty (Stanford Health Care), Collin Berg (Included Health), James Thompson (Included Health), Dr. Kristin Dean (Included Health), Dr. Tony Yuan (Included Health), and Dr. Ian Tong (Included Health).

The full study is available here.

About Included Health

Included Health is a new kind of healthcare company, delivering integrated virtual care and navigation. We’re on a mission to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone. We are the only complete, integrated healthcare delivery platform designed to support the unique healthcare journey of each person. We offer our members care guidance, advocacy, and access to personalized virtual and in-person care for everyday and urgent care, primary care, behavioral health, and specialty care. It’s all included. Learn more at includedhealth.com.

Contacts

Hannah Boss press@includedhealth.com

Grand Rounds is Now Included Health

Included Health is a new kind of healthcare company, delivering integrated virtual care and navigation. We offer our members care guidance, advocacy, and access to personalized virtual and in-person care for everyday and urgent care, primary care, behavioral health, chronic and specialty care. It’s all included.