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PHTI to Evaluate Digital Solutions for Hypertension and Mental Health for Payers, Providers


Results of the evaluations will inform recommendations to payers and providers about whether and how to adopt these technologies.

The Peterson Health Technology Institute (PHTI) plans to thoroughly evaluate digital solutions for hypertension and mental health conditions, assessing clinical benefits, economic impact, and factors like health equity, user experience, and privacy and security.

Results of the evaluations will inform recommendations to payers and providers about whether and how to adopt these technologies, according to a news release by PHTI.

“Digital technologies have the potential to improve access to care and management of chronic conditions,” said Caroline Pearson, executive director of PHTI, in the release. “With so many digital solutions on the market for hypertension and mental health care, payers, patients, and providers need access to transparent and independent evaluations to better understand which tools perform best to improve patient outcomes and affordability.”

Digital Solutions Addressing Hypertension

Around 120 million U.S. adults suffer from hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure (BP), with less than 25% effectively managing their condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Folks with hypertension also experience nearly $2,000 in additional out-of-pocket costs annually compared to those without.

Experts emphasize the importance of self-management through consistent monitoring, increased physical activity, and adherence to medication schedules to reduce BP and ultimately decrease primary care and emergency room visits.

In a recent study published in JAMA Network, results revealed that digital health interventions aimed at managing hypertension in populations facing health disparities led to greater reductions in BP within the intervention groups compared to those receiving standard care.

Current digital health approaches for hypertension management, as mentioned in the study, typically include text message reminders for medication adherence, remote BP monitoring and virtual behavioral coaching.

“In-office blood pressure readings are notoriously unreliable,” said Pearson in the release. “Effective remote hypertension monitoring and self-management solutions have the potential to inform clinical care decisions and improve patients’ health, reducing future complications and associated costs.”

Virtual Care for Depression and Anxiety

Mental health conditions impact nearly 60 million U.S. adults, with an annual employer cost of $187 billion.

From 2018 to 2022, approximately $12 billion was invested in video- and messaging-based treatment options such as talk therapy, medication management, coaching and peer support, according to a Rock Health report.

Findings from a large retrospective data analysis published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in October 2023 indicate significant improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms among telepsychiatry users, reinforcing its effectiveness.

The PHTI will release assessments of hypertension and mental health solutions in the second half of 2024.

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