Higi study finds monitoring based on reward incentives can lower blood pressure and may create lasting behavioral changes

Results released at American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2015 Scientific Sessions

Higi, a leading retail-based health and wellness platform, today released the findings of a nearly three-year study that found a significant relationship between lowered blood pressure and an incentive-based program based on regular monitoring.

The findings of the large-scale study were presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2015 Scientific Sessions on September 18 in Washington, D.C.

“A blood pressure reading is a vital health measure that most people understand and know how to monitor easily when given the tools to do so. When this behavior is encouraged through rewards and challenges, individuals have a powerful opportunity to hardwire healthy habits in their everyday lives,” said Dr. Khan M. Siddiqui, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Medical Officer at higi.

Higi reviewed de-identified historic data for users who opted in to join higi and analyzed the impacts of its system of rewards and challenges on 159,000 hypertensive users nationwide from September 2012 to April 2015. This included activity across higi’s network of retail-based ambulatory health stations, mobile app and web portal. Among the findings:

Nearly half lowered their systolic blood pressure to below 140 mmHg, the cut-off for high blood pressure according to AHA. Both men and women across all age brackets saw lowered blood pressure over the course of the study.
Patients logging in 5 or more times per month showed an average drop in Systolic BP of 17 mmHg and an average drop in Diastolic BP of 9 mmHg, with >80% seeing any reduction in their BP, and nearly half reaching BP range below hypertensive.

Participants in the study were higi users who had an average age of 49 with their first blood pressure measurement in the hypertensive range. Fifty-eight percent of participants were men, 42 percent were women. Nearly half were obese.

“Our study bears out the notion that access, awareness and incentives, if designed and executed effectively, can have a positive impact on individual health,” said Siddiqui. “We are pleased to present our findings with the American Heart Association and make a contribution to the increasing discussion among healthcare organizations and consumers concerning hypertension.”

Higi’s health station network has grown to almost 10,000 units in pharmacies, groceries and other retail outlets nationwide, putting a higi station within 5 miles of 75 percent of the U.S. population. In addition, higi’s online health communities enable higi users to track their statistics, take challenges and engage with others to improve their health.

Blood pressure is a key indicator of overall health, and can be life threatening if mistreated or undertreated. According to the American Heart Association, about 80 million Americans have high blood pressure, but nearly 20 percent are unaware of it and only about half have it under control.

Dr. Khan Siddiqui and Ross Goglia, M.B.A., were co-authors of the study. The poster presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2015 can be found here.

About higi:
Higi’s mission is to get consumers to take small but meaningful steps to create lasting health habits. Its innovative health and wellness platform gives consumers the power to collect and share their health and activity data with trusted partners or communities. These trusted partners can leverage this data from higi (after consumers’ explicitly opt-in) and higi’s tools to better engage with their customers on health and wellness in a simple, fun and rewarding manner. For more information, visit us at higi.com and follow us on Twitter @higi. In addition, prospective partner developers can learn more about higi’s API by visiting developer.higi.com.

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Chris Varones

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