Ochsner piloting Apple Watch to manage chronic disease

New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System is piloting the Apple Watch as a tool to help patients manage chronic diseases.

The system is integrating Apple Watch into the Ochsner Hypertension Digital Medicine program, a pilot program that uses wireless blood pressure cuffs integrated with Apple HealthKit and the EHR. Patients measure their blood pressure and heart rate at home, and the information is automatically sent to the clinic where pharmacists review the data and make necessary medication or lifestyle updates to help patients maintain good blood pressure control.

Now, Apple Watch allows patients to receive medication reminders, feedback from clinicians, renewal notifications and activity trackers and reminders.

"Typically, hypertension patients see their physician a few times a year. Now, we are offering a new way to deliver care in patients with chronic diseases in which we can communicate with the patient in a more intimate way, more frequently," said Richard Milani, MD, chief clinical transformation Officer of Ochsner Health System. "We recognize that to be impactful with this method, we need to fundamentally change behavior. We can do this by providing continuous feedback with reminders and words of encouragement to promote lifestyle modification."

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