AI Health Coach Lowers Blood Pressure and Boosts Engagement in Patients with Hypertension

A new study in JMIR Cardio, published by JMIR Publications, shows that a fully digital, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven lifestyle coaching program can effectively reduce blood pressure (BP) in adults with hypertension. This AI-based program leverages data from wearable activity trackers and BP monitors as well as a mobile app questionnaire to tailor lifestyle guidance. The research team, led by Jared Leitner of the University of California, San Diego, used this innovative intervention to help manage hypertension and enhance patient engagement, offering a promising alternative to traditional coaching models.

The researchers employed a single-arm nonrandomized trial to evaluate the effects of the program's personalized lifestyle guidance, which was delivered to 141 participants through SMS text messages and a mobile app. Over 24 weeks, participants with stage 2 hypertension showed significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic BP. At 12 weeks, systolic BP decreased by an average of 9.6 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 5.7 mm Hg. These reductions were even more pronounced at 24 weeks, with systolic BP dropping by 14.2 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 8.1 mm Hg.

This precision coaching program led to an increase in participants achieving BP control and a decrease in participants with stage 2 hypertension. The study also highlighted high participant engagement and minimal need for manual clinician outreach. This indicates that the AI-driven approach not only enhances BP control but also substantially reduces the workload for health care providers.

"By pinpointing the top lifestyle contributors to patients' hypertension and providing precise guidance, the AI-powered lifestyle coaching was able to maintain high patient engagement leading to improved patient outcomes. This study demonstrates how an AI-based, autonomous approach to hypertension-related lifestyle coaching can increase scalability and accessibility to effective blood pressure management," remarked Dr. Leitner.

This research underscores the potential for digital health innovations to transform hypertension management, providing scalable, cost-effective, and personalized care options for patients.

Leitner J, Chiang PH, Agnihotri P, Dey S.
The Effect of an AI-Based, Autonomous, Digital Health Intervention Using Precise Lifestyle Guidance on Blood Pressure in Adults With Hypertension: Single-Arm Nonrandomized Trial.
JMIR Cardio. 2024 May 28;8:e51916. doi: 10.2196/51916

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