As the digital health field matures, there’s growing evidence that virtual tools are effective in managing chronic diseases. For instance, in the world of diabetes, digital intervention for this complex disease has been shown to lower A1c levels such that prediabetes patients don’t progress to full-blown type 2 diabetes.

In late January, Hello Heart announced that an independent validation showed that its machine-learning-powered digital cardiac app saved employers money because employees avoided surgeries and invasive procedures.

And earlier this week, more evidence emerged — this time through a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings — that showed that a digital-first approach is very effective in managing hypertension. The peer-reviewed study co-authored by Included Health and Stanford Healthcare found that a large majority of the patient population — 77% of 569 patients — experienced an improvement in either systolic or diastolic blood pressure. Specifically, patients had mean reductions of -9.7 mm Hg and -6.8 mm Hg in systolic and diastolic blood pressures, respectively.

“With recent reports that rates of adequately controlling hypertension in the U.S. have declined over the last decade, virtual care has demonstrated to be an effective model to provide improved hypertension care,” said Dr. Shriram Nallamshetty, clinical assistant professor (affiliated) at Stanford Medicine and co-author of the study, in an Included Health news release. “For chronic conditions like hypertension, we must consider the impact of the virtual care model in raising the standards of care for all patients.”

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