Before the pandemic, telehealth — seeing a doctor virtually instead of in real life — was hardly used by most patients in the US. With both an overwhelmed healthcare system and fears of infection from in-person visits, that's now shifting. Video or phone chats with a physician can solve basic complaints. But the risk is that chronic conditions that benefit from routine checkups — where the best healthcare is preventative, not reactive — might fall by the wayside.
In response, we have seen more connected tools like glucose monitors that can monitor vitals at home. Omron's VitalSight aims to do the same for hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can be a precursor to a stroke or heart attack.
The company has a reputation for high quality smart blood pressure monitors, but this is its first to connect directly to a patient's doctor. To receive VitalSight, a patient enrolls through their physician. The kit that's mailed to them includes a smart blood pressure cuff, a weighing scale and a modem which establishes its own connection to one's doctor. It doesn't need a WiFi connection; the kit is designed for non-tech savvy patients to plug in and use. The blood pressure data then feeds directly into a patient's electronic medical records and physicians can set alerts if the readings reach a dangerous zone.
Omron have used the technology with Mount Sinai hospitals and Northwestern Medicine in the last few months, but are launching in full at CES.