Patients at Bridges Medical Practice and Littlemoor Surgery in Weymouth are invited to drop into their practices today to find out more about monitoring and controlling their blood pressure from home.

Digital Care Coordinators and Digital Volunteers will be on hand between the times of 9am – 1pm at Bridges Medical Practice and 2pm- 5pm at Littlemoor Surgery to show people how to download the BP@Home app and how to use it to manage and control their blood pressure.

The role of the Digital Care Coordinators, Digital Champions and volunteers within Dorset GP practices is becoming increasingly prominent, supporting people to access digital healthcare tools, including tools for supported self-management of conditions, benefitting patients by helping them to better understand, control and look after their health and long-term conditions from home.

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, affects more than 1 in 4 adults in England. Within Dorset, approximately 16% of the population have high blood pressure and over half of these are under 65 and of working age (approximately 75,692 patients).

Louise Bell, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Bridges Medical Practice and Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHS Dorset said: “People with hypertension are at increased risk of atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. We hope that by supporting patients to take their blood pressure readings at home, they will better understand and manage their condition, improving their health in the long term.

“We know that not everyone feels confident using new technology. This is where our Digital Care Coordinators and Digital Volunteers can really help to make a difference by supporting patients to use the app and understand the process.

“The app has been trialled across other areas of Dorset and it has been positively received by patients. We have had a 45% reduction in patient appointments relating to blood pressure, saving time for both them and their GP. We know that this can make a real difference to people’s lives. Patients who have been trialling this technology have told us that using this app has encouraged them to make improvements to their health.”

The BP@Home app was introduced in 2021 to GP practices in Poole, Mid Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, Blandford and The Vale. There are currently 318 active patients with hypertension remotely take blood pressure readings at home every month, and 16,500 blood pressure readings have been recorded via the mobile app, which sends the results to their medical records and medical team at the GP practice. Readings are reviewed by clinical teams and followed up with advice and/or changes to medication.

There has been a significant reduction in high blood pressure from hypertensive patients in Dorset since using the app. Reducing the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Some patient testimonials include: “Using the app has made me take more notice and have a better understanding of my blood pressure” and “I was a little worried about it but now I can see the improvement.”

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