High blood pressure is the most common pathology in the world. In particular it is a factor in cardiovascular complications (myocardial infarction and stroke), and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, as Vincent Vercamer, Head of Market Access and Public Affairs at Withings Health Solutions explained, “worldwide, 50% of people with high blood pressure have not been diagnosed. As for patients who have been diagnosed, 50% are not properly monitored. Thus three quarters of the global population that suffer from high blood pressure are not being correctly treated.” Withings and Skezi have decided to jointly deal with this public health problem, in a different manner.
Volunteer pharmacies and patients will work together on this study for several months. Once a month, the pharmacist will meet with a patient with high blood pressure and will ask them to complete a questionnaire drawn up by Skezi (on the patient’s understanding of their treatment, the quality of their sleep, their nutrition, their physical activity… everything that has an impact on blood pressure). The answers provided are then assessed by Skezi.
For their part, Withings will supply the equipment – a 4G connected blood pressure monitor, BPM Connect Pro, made available to patients. It will gather measurements, send notifications of any thresholds exceeded or any non-use, etc. This tool is 4G synchronized, with no need for a smartphone or an Internet box. The data will be forwarded directly to the pharmacist’s or healthcare professional’s records. The pharmacist will be responsible for defining with the patient the frequency at which blood pressure is taken at the start of the program.
“Digital healthcare, today and even more so tomorrow, will follow-up patients in their real life, in order to improve treatment, scientific knowledge and ultimately, health, while adhering to ethical standards and confidentiality,” Vincent Vercamer added.
The Withings RPM platform is already on sale in the USA and is used by several thousand Americans. Within the framework of this partnership, it will allow the patient’s records to be shared between the various care network professionals (doctors, cardiologists, pharmacists, etc.), based on system interoperability. Over the months and as the data come in, the patient’s treatment will be adjusted.
“Both the pharmacist and the patient are keen to lower high blood pressure but do not always have the time. With this partnership between Withings and Skezi, we are rolling out a service to monitor blood pressure remotely whilst at the same time assessing the impact and the benefit of this different type of follow-up that the pharmacist is proposing, and thus prevent other long-term diseases, such as cardiovascular complications,” Vincent Vercamer, Head of Market Access and Public Affairs at Withings Health Solutions.
The study will commence in Strasbourg, in the east of France, with a dozen or so pharmacies but the plan is to expand it throughout France. The impact of this new follow-up resource and the satisfaction and rigor of the information sharing by pharmacists and patients will be assessed. If the results are conclusive, “the idea is to improve treatment offered for high blood pressure by placing the patient at the center, surrounded by a care team coordinated by the pharmacist,” said Vincent Vercamer.
This first operational element will no doubt be followed by a clinical element, the dates of which are yet to be decided.