Ochsner recognized for hypertension digital medicine program

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New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System was named among four finalists in the Health Acceleration Challenge by the Forum on Health Care Innovation — a collaboration between Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School — for its work on the Ochsner Hypertension Digital Medicine Program.

The challenge helps already-implemented healthcare solutions grow and increase their impact through networking and funding opportunities, according to Ochsner.

Ochsner developed its Hypertension Digital Medicine Program through innovationOchsner, an innovation lab and accelerator that designs patient-centered solutions through technology and data. The lab opened in 2015.

The Ochsner Hypertension Digital Medicine Program uses the Apple Watch to monitor clinic patients who struggle with uncontrolled blood pressure. Through wireless blood pressure cuffs integrated with Apple's HealthKit and Epic, Ochsner's EMR, patients regularly measure their blood pressure ratings at home while the data is sent directly to the clinic for monitoring, Ochsner said. Specialized pharmacists review the data in real time to provide feedback about important aspects of their care.

A team of 24 judges reviewed the applications. Applications were rated based on impact, evidence and dissemination, and given an overall score to create a short list of 21 innovations. These 21 innovations were narrowed down to four finalists.

Ochsner received a monetary prize along with the other three finalists. The three other finalists were Addicaid, for its addiction wellness platform for patients, payers and providers; Carrum Health, for its comprehensive bundled payment solution for employers; and Radial Analytics, for its decision support system for after-hospital care planning. 

A winner will be announced in 2017 after the four finalists have pursued their dissemination plans, according to Ochsner. Each finalist will be the subject of an HBS case study.


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