Healthcentric Advisors uses $175K grant to target high blood pressure

PROVIDENCE – Healthcentric Advisors, a nonprofit based in the city, is launching a project focused on reducing uncontrolled high blood pressure in medically underserved communities.

Funded by a $175,000 grant received in July from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services through its Special Innovation Project contract, the effort will simplify digital blood pressure self-monitoring and connect home monitoring devices to physicians’ offices.

Working with groups, including Progreso Latino, the R.I. Department of Health and the African Alliance of Rhode Island, Healthcentric is recruiting 150 patients for the six-month pilot program. Participants and caregivers will receive training and the use of secure Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure monitoring devices. The devices are equipped with an application program interface system designed by Healthcentric Advisors that provides patients’ real-time blood pressure results to clinicians.

“Patients can capture their blood pressure between office visits, then share it back to their provider via a real-time alert for follow-up on a high blood pressure reading,” said Lauren Capizzo, director of practice transformation at Healthcentric Advisors. “Now, instead of waiting for the three-month follow-up visit, the care team will know right away if a patient should be seen sooner.”

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Education resources developed as a result of the pilot will be released nationally.

“Giving patients the ability to automatically record and transmit their blood pressure to health care providers allows for more timely adjustment of medication or lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Chris Campanile, clinical coordinator for Healthcentric Advisors. “It unburdens the provider and patient by replacing what is often an unnecessary face-to-face encounter at the office … eliminating the phenomenon known as ‘white coat syndrome.’ ”