Home Heart-Health Checks Work, but Follow-Up Is Still a Must


CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2013/ The Wall Street Journal HEARTBEAT/ --  More doctors are looking to a host of emerging gadgets patients can use to manage chronic disease at home, such as do-it-yourself blood pressure monitors.

But, making use of the reams of data they can produce remains a problem. A new study shows that patients who monitor their blood pressure at home don't get much benefit-unless their doctors provide extra services like digital monitoring and counseling.

The analysis published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients who got such extra support coupled with home blood-pressure monitoring saw significant benefits after a year, while it wasn't clear home monitoring without added medical practice infrastructure helped much at all in the long term.

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