Blossom: home BLOod preSSure monitOring in pregnancy using teleMetry.
Problems with blood pressure can often arise during pregnancy. Women who develop hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy need to be seen more frequently by doctors and midwives to have their blood pressure monitored. This usually means women have to make extra visits to the hospital.
Electronic home blood pressure monitors are widely used by people to monitor their own blood pressure. Some of these monitors can measure the blood pressure and then send the readings via the internet to a secure website accessible to the user and their doctor or midwife. These types of monitors are called telemetry supported blood pressure monitors.
The purpose of this study was to assess whether self-measuring of blood pressure at home using telemetric supported blood pressure monitors can be used as an alternative method for outpatient blood pressure monitoring during pregnancy.
We wanted to find out:
- if women find this method acceptable,
- whether it altered the number of visits women make to hospital,
- if it improved care for women with blood pressure problems.
- the impact that telemetry supported blood pressure monitoring had on clinical staff.
Just under 49% of patients who were approached to participate consented. 18.6% of home monitoring ‘appointments’ resulted in hospital referral.
All of the final study question respondents ‘Strongly Agreed’ that being part of the study was a positive experience. No women voluntarily reverted to routine care.
There was no statistically significant difference between average home monitored BP and routine BP recordings.
Home monitoring saved patients an average of 48 minutes, staff an average of 17 minutes and resulted in a £28.65 (56.99%) saving to the NHS, per appointment. In total, this study saved the NHS £2,032.10.
Home monitoring in pregnancy is a feasible, reliable and desirable method for monitoring BP in pregnancy, maximising patient convenience and midwife time, while decreasing workload and reducing costs to the NHS.
This pilot study provides a strong basis for larger case-control studies and eventual routine implementation.