Hypertension: Back to basics
We went back to basics after three years of using, evaluating, and writing about the most advanced cardiovascular sensors and blood pressure measuring technologies in the world. We revisited published research across hypertension research, publishing, and outreach ecosystems. Our objective was to better quantify the state of hypertension diagnosis, treatment, and management by approaching it from alternative frames of reference. In this context, we investigated blood pressure measurement scope and quality, patient compliance, pharmacology, and published research.
We traced original sources of data, analysis, and recommendations. These included the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), whose fieldwork and epidemiological research have informed researchers, clinicians, and policymakers for more than fifty years. Our approach was closer to engineering in looking behind published numbers, methods, and practices to their underlying basis and original sources.
This was not an academic exercise but an effort to pin down, quantify, and integrate the results of published research, studies, and expert insights into a more cohesive picture. It was not easy. The results were sometimes surprising and troubling in their disagreements, contradictions, and implications. On a positive note, we achieved internal consensus backed by published research on various performance metrics, which we will use in our continuing work.
We found value in considering blood pressure and hypertension from different perspectives and frames of reference. Particularly those outside of clinical practices with high standards of measurement accuracy, analysis, and interpretation. I will share some of our findings and analysis in my next OPRHealth posts, including work performed in collaboration with external experts. They will cover topics including diagnostic compliance, drug adherence, decision-making implications of complex drug treatments, human factors, and blood pressure measurement accuracy. We hope that you will find them interesting and challenging. As always, please reach out and engage us with your feedback and comments.