Study: Monitoring based on reward incentives can lower blood pressure

Higi study

Maker of a retail-based health and wellness platform Higi has recently released findings of a nearly three-year-long study that found a significant relationship between lowered blood pressure and an incentive-based program based on regular monitoring.

“A blood pressure reading is a vital health measure that most people understand and know how to monitor easily when given the tools to do so. When this behavior is encouraged through rewards and challenges, individuals have a powerful opportunity to hardwire healthy habits in their everyday lives,” said Dr. Khan M. Siddiqui, CTO and Chief Medical Officer at Higi.

The company reviewed its user base and analyzed the impacts of its system of rewards and challenges on 159,000 hypertensive users across the U.S. from September 2012 to April 2015. This included activity across Higi’s network of retail-based ambulatory health stations, mobile app and web portal.

Higi has found that nearly half of its users lowered their systolic blood pressure to below 140 mmHg.Higi has found that nearly half of its users lowered their systolic blood pressure to below 140 mmHg, the cut-off for high blood pressure according to American Heart Association (AHA). Both men and women across all age brackets saw lowered blood pressure over the course of the study.

Another finding suggests that patients logging in 5 or more times per month showed an average drop in Systolic BP of 17 mmHg and an average drop in Diastolic BP of 9 mmHg, with over 80% seeing any reduction in their BP, and nearly half reaching BP range below hypertensive.

Participants in the study were Higi users who had an average age of 49 with their first blood pressure measurement in the hypertensive range. Fifty-eight percent of participants were men, 42 percent were women. Nearly half were obese.

Higi’s health station network counts almost 10,000 units in pharmacies, groceries and other retail outlets nationwide.

According to the American Heart Association, about 80 million Americans have high blood pressure, but nearly 20 percent are unaware of it and only about half have it under control.