mHealth interventions reduce blood pressure, study finds

After four months of using Vida Health — an app-based health coaching program — about half of participants reported improved blood pressure, according to a study in JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

The researchers — led by Alice Yuqing Mao, MD, of UC San Francisco, and Connie Chen, MD, of Stanford (Calif.) University — analyzed existing registry data from a pilot collaboration between Vida Health and a national insurer. The pilot measured the results of overweight adults who participated in four months of an intensive digital health coaching program, which included video, phone and text interventions.

The researchers found 49.1 percent of the 112 participants that reported an initial high blood pressure measurement improved their blood pressure by an entire hypertensive stage after four months in the program. Participants also lost an average of 3.23 percent in total body weight after four months of coaching.

"Given the ubiquity of mobile phones, digital health coaching may be an innovative solution to decreasing barriers of access to much-needed weight management interventions for obesity," the study authors concluded.

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