News | February 26, 2008

New Program Offers Web-Based Remote Monitoring to Help Employees Fight Hypertension

February 27, 2008 - The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare and EMC Corp. will study how EMC’s employees diagnosed with hypertension can better manage their health through proactive monitoring and education, marking the first company to participate in SmartBeat, designed by the center.

SmartBeat uses a wireless blood pressure cuff and communicator, and an Internet-based feedback system to aid employees volunteering for the study to self-manage their high blood pressure. Through SmartBeat, the Center for Connected Health will be able to evaluate how a self-management program impacts participants’ blood pressure levels, as well as the involvement and confidence to manage their own health. The program will also study how a Web-based hypertension wellness program can impact healthcare costs and utilization.

Approximately 400 U.S.-based EMC employees with hypertension or pre-hypertension will participate in the program on a volunteer basis. Participants from several EMC locations, which are selected at random, use home blood pressure monitors that store and transmit data, and an Internet-based self-management system.

Enrollment for SmartBeat has begun, and is expected to be complete by summer 2008. Currently, employees participating in the study are taking their blood pressure reading, on average, every three days, indicating a high level of interest and usage. Aggregated results from the study are expected to be available in mid 2009.

For more information: www.emc.com, www.connected-health.org, www.partners.org

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