Tailoring Telemedicine in Cardiology


With the field already booming with capability, a Penn Medicine expert discusses her team's research into finding the right tools for the right patients and clinicians.

Few specialties have the capability, resources, and necessary patient count to aggressive apply telemedicine as cardiology does; with a growing rate of patients in need of habitual screening and care, as well as consumer-level health and fitness wearable devices, the field has been primed for a remote care boom for some time.

Actually providing streamlined means of care is not guaranteed, though.

In the second segment of an interview with HCPLIve, Jennifer Lewey, MD, MPH, Director of the Penn Women’s Cardiovascular Center, followed up discussion on her team’s pilot program into monitoring Black patients’ blood pressure levels via text or online patient portfolio, as previously covered.

Lewey discussed the various remote monitoring methods already available for cardiovascular and at-risk patients: blood pressure and heart rate measurement devices; bodyweight measurements; EKG reads from consumer products including Apple Watch; digital stethoscopes; hemodynamic monitoring; implantable devices; and on.

“The field is just exploding, in terms of different ways of monitoring,” Lewey said.

Lewey further discussed the significance of the team’s initial research into the significance of feasible, affordable, yet widely applicable telemedicine strategies for something as crucial as remote blood pressure monitoring—a practice that actually may be as effectively communicated as necessary by text.

“I think whenever we’re looking at any of these interventions, taking a sense toward equity is important too, in terms of who has access to these devices,” Lewey said. “I think there needs to be a system-wide response, as well as an enthusiasm and interest in doing it at the individual, clinical level as well.”

Going forward, the Penn team will look to see how clinician perceive such practices being well received by their hard-to-reach patients.

“In our pilot study, we focused on making it easier for our patients,” Lewey said. “And I think the next step is figuring out how to make it easier for doctors, as well. For us, what we’re trying to do is implement this at scale.”

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