Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and arrhythmias, may lead to poor patient outcomes, reduced productivity, and decreased quality of life. Monitoring these disease states can be problematic in an outpatient setting. Patients can now purchase wearable devices (e.g. Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin etc.) to monitor their cardiovascular health. These products may have the potential to improve patient outcomes but come with risks. The purpose of this poster is to review the current landscape of digital health, specifically in cardiology, to assess the risks and benefits of using such products, and the role that pharmacists may play soon.
Methods: This review will discuss the recent technologies that can monitor blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), electrocardiogram (ECG), along with sleep patterns and physical activity. The review of the products was completed via literature search through PubMed, company websites, news outlets, and press releases that discuss the new and upcoming products. Due to the recent emergence of these products, PubMed literature search led to limited results of clinical trials regarding these products, such as Apple Heart Study, and a trial by Widmer et al. An analysis of the special features including product usage, cost, FDA clearance, and country of origin was conducted. Using the gathered information, the pros and cons of these products were compared.
Results: Most wearables in the current market are able to continuously monitor BP, HR, sleep patterns, and physical activity, but there are wearables that may do all of this in addition to monitoring abnormal heart rhythms. Although these special features may result in positive patient outcomes, the reports from the devices may not always be accurate. False positive alarms could lead to unnecessary clinician or emergency room visits which in turn increases healthcare system burden. There also may be privacy concerns with these devices because the information may be shared with the company or third-party vendors.
Conclusion: An increasing number of patients are purchasing wearables due to convenience of real-time updates to and from their providers. As first line healthcare professionals who are accessible and trusted by patients, it is vital for pharmacists to be aware of these products as they provide opportunities to intervene in patients’ medication lists and health conditions. Pharmacists will be able to monitor, adjust, and educate patients about their medication therapies as the interface matures. Although digital health products allow for better assessment of medication adherence and patient cardiovascular goals, they come with concerning challenges.