Hypertension is one of the major cardiovascular risk factors but its control rates worldwide, below 50%, are strikingly unsatisfactory. One the main reasons for the lack of control of hypertension is low adherence to therapy. New tools need to be developed to support the management of chronic diseases, increasing patient engagement and fostering the relationship between patients and health care providers. The widespread use of smartphones allows their technology and embedded sensors to be used in the creation of low-cost, easy to disseminate tools.
In this project we are developing a smartphone app to support the treatment of hypertension. The app (Inspirers HTN) already exists and is able to register the patient’s pharmacological treatment, to customize alerts for the patient to take his medication and to measure his blood pressure. However, its most innovative feature is at an advanced stage of development – an image detection tool which will allow to identify the number of pills taken from a blister and to capture the blood pressure values from the screen of automated blood pressure measuring devices, using the smartphone’s camera. With this tool, the app will be able to objectively quantify adherence to therapy. The app processes gathered data regarding adherence and blood pressure values and generates reports, which the user can securely share with his health care team.