The Particulars: Previous studies have demonstrated that telemedicine systems help engage patients to report blood pressure (BP) remotely among affluent participants. Less is known on the impact of telemedicine systems in underserved urban communities that have many people with high BP and diabetes.

Data Breakdown: For a study, patients with systolic BP of 140 mm Hg or higher but no evidence of heart disease who were from an underserved, urban community were randomized to usual care or telemedicine coupled with home BP monitoring. Nearly one-half of all patients involved in the study reached their BP goals. However, among those without diabetes, a significant decrease in BP was observed in the telemedicine group (19 mm Hg) when compared with the usual care group (12 mm Hg).

Take Home Pearl: A telemedicine system designed to engage patients in an underserved, urban community to measure and report BP remotely appears to help them achieve BP goals.