According to the World Health Organization, 1.13 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risks of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. A new application has been released to help people diagnose, monitor, and manage high blood pressure. BPCorrect was created by Dr. Cara Litvin, a general internist, and Dr. Steven Ornstein, a family physician. After years of frustration noting that blood pressure is often measured incorrectly in the doctor’s office, they developed a solution to help patients and doctors accurately measure BP to improve the diagnosis and management of hypertension.
According to Dr. Litvin, “Blood pressure taken in the doctor’s office can be inaccurate for many reasons, including improper technique, not allowing for ample rest before checking, and even the whitecoat effect.” In fact, many expert organizations such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Heart Association recommend home BP monitoring prior to the diagnosis of hypertension and for its management, rather than relying on in-office readings. Patients may also want to avoid coming to the doctor’s office for a blood pressure check during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as Dr. Litvin says, “Casual home blood pressure measurements can also be misleading. A high or low blood pressure measured on a single occasion may not be representative of a patient’s ‘true’ blood pressure.”
While many apps help people track and display their BP, BPCorrect is the only app that guides patients through a scientific approach to measure BP at home accurately. The app guides users to follow the American Heart Association’s recommended schedule for home BP monitoring, reminding users to check their BP for seven days in a row, in the morning and evening. BPCorrect also includes step by step instructions for properly obtaining BP measurements and ensures users rest before their BP is measured to maximize accuracy. Once at least three days of measurements have been done, BPCorrect calculates a running average, a better assessment of BP than relying on individual measurements. The app also provides helpful links to resources for BP management, and allows users to export their average BP to a doctor or nurse practitioner so informed care decisions can be made.
A clinician portal that will enable doctors and nursing staff to securely view the readings taken by their patients using the app is coming this fall. “We truly believe that use of the BPCorrect app should replace routine in-office BP measurements for hypertension screening and management,” says Dr. Litvin.