Abstract 12891: Creating a Gateway Into Digital Health for Older Patients who are Technology Impaired
Introduction: Older patients with chronic disease such as hypertension (HTN) may benefit from utilizing home based technology (tech) to monitor and improve disease control, but may forgo these opportunities due to concerns and/or fears over lack of tech skills. Reducing these concerns by providing a free service where use of newer technologies can be introduced and taught may provide opportunities for better HTN management and patient engagement.
Purpose: To evaluate whether tech impaired patients with uncontrolled HTN could actively participate and achieve BP control similar to those without tech limitations as part of a digital HTN program.
Methods: We created a free health tech “genius bar” called the “O Bar” where patients could be taught how to use a wireless BP unit that transmitted data automatically to the electronic medical record. Patients were assessed at entry as to their tech “savviness” based on capability to email, shop on-line, and use text. All patients were instructed how to take their BP using a smartphone app as well as use of a basic patient portal app. The O Bar was available to all patients for free instruction on the use of health apps and home based monitoring.
Results: Of the 247 patients enrolled into the digital HTN program, 18% (44) were labeled as tech impaired. Patients were asked to submit 3-5 BP readings per week from home and intervention consisted of lifestyle and medication management by a clinical pharmacist and a health coach.
Conclusions: 1. Tech impaired patients were older and had lower health literacy but were able to successfully submit weekly BP measurements and achieve BP control, similar to tech savvy patients.
2. Older patients with poor tech skills should not be dissuaded from enrolling into a digital tech management program provided health systems are willing to provide basic tech education.
Author Disclosures: R.V. Milani: None. C.J. Lavie: None. R.M. Bober: None. A.R. Milani: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.