Walking in Patients’ Shoes: My Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Experience

Subtitle: Innovation comes in many forms!

Attached is a series of slides that recap my experience learning about home blood pressure monitoring, by trying it on myself, using an innovative device manufactured by Microlife Medical Home Solutions, Inc., called WatchBP Home. (Note: Please see my About page for my conflict of interest and independence statements)

The whole thing was a great experience in learning about the process, and learning about learning, as I tweeted my experience as I went. On that note, I discovered in putting this together that Twitter may not be the best platform, compared to a hosted blog, to use to store information that you want to retrieve later.

I overall think this is a great case study in thinking about innovation in medicine:

  • is innovation in home blood pressure monitoring in bluetooth connectivity and IP addresses?
  • Is it in design and coaching/guiding that empowers patients to monitor accurately and with confidence?

Of course the two are not mutually exclusive, but what’s the balance in health information technology right now? I wrote about this a bit at the last Innovation Learning Network in person meeting. Slides are below, see what you think. Comments and questions always welcome.

I’ve prepared a link cloud of scientific articles related to the device and home blood pressure monitoring in general, which you can view here.

With thanks to the team at Microlife for allowing me to enjoy this learning experience, and fellow patients Gilles Frydman, ePatientDave, and Jan Oldenburg, for a few gentle reboots of my thinking during my learning, enabled by Twitter!

If you’d like an embeddable version of these slides, you can get them here.


Ooops – posted this on wrong conversation….

Re: wireless remote monitoring. Just began my own cardiology monitoring (using a vendor who will remain anonymous for now). The technology seems to be elegantly designed (for performance and engineering) but the aesthetics of the experience so far is poor.

The company, which for the previous event monitoring technology was superb in its support, has done a poor job in user (i.e. ME!) orientation – especially the first phone consult setting up the monitoring. Also, the hard copy instruction materials gave neither the big picture of how this works and what benefits it provides nor the nitty gritty daily protocol to take it off and put it back on (swimming, showering, etc.).

This has led to too many phone calls I’ve needed to make….which they answer very well but should not be necessary.

As technology, this could be a truly empowering experience. But this potential has barely been tapped.

Stay tuned….

Dear Yosaif,

Excellent comment and thank you for sharing your experience! I have a question for you – who is paying for the device? Yourself, or your health care provider/system? Your experience makes me think that in terms of what the vendor desires in terms of customer satisfaction is being fulfilled, it's just that the customer isn't you.

Given your experience in design, I think you are in a great position to participate in making tomorrow's home devices designed in such a way that they are usable, respected, and patients feel they add value.

(I deleted your miscommented comment, too, by the way, thanks for reposting, makes it easier)


Ted Eytan, MD