My Story: Enabling home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy
Clare Murray became pregnant with her first child at 44. She was soon informed that she was at risk of hypertension and would need to be monitored for high blood pressure during her pregnancy; a condition which requires weekly trips to the hospital. Here, she explains how ‘Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy’, or ‘HaMpton’, enabled her to do this at home and thus avoid time-consuming trips to the hospital.
Clare first became aware of the HaMpton app through her medical team at St George’s Hospital in south west London. She was already attending appointments on a regular basis, something she found to be quite stressful.“I have white coats syndrome, which means that whenever one goes into a hospital or a medical situation, you get very tense so your blood pressure automatically rises resulting in false readings. So for someone like me, the app was really excellent because it meant that I could take control of my blood pressure readings and I could do them at home.
“It would be completely unfeasible for someone in my position to go in everyday”
“It would be irritating because you know that when you go in to the hospital to get your blood pressure checked, they are going to have to keep taking your readings as you know they’re false. You know that they’re too high. Often, you’re sitting there – probably for about an hour – getting a reading every 15 minutes or so while you’re trying to calm yourself down. It’s not that nerve-racking. You’re sitting there very normally but your blood pressure is just high. And by the end my blood pressure was high anyway because of my pregnancy.“Using the HaMpton app was very simple. You pop on one of those blood pressure monitors that you wrap around your arm that has a little reader. I would take my blood pressure when I knew I was relaxed, which might be when I was watching TV or reading a book. And then I would put the results on the app, which again is very simple to use. I would just tap them in once I had the results. If they reached a certain level, the app would tell me to do the blood pressure reading again. And if they were still high, then I had the telephone number to call the hospital.
“There was always someone monitoring me. There was always someone at the end of the phone”
“I felt totally supported to use the app and I think it really helped. It kept me at home rather than having to go into the hospital. I think it was beneficial on both sides. It was beneficial for me and it was beneficial for nurses who had to spend their time taking my blood pressure.
“I can’t think of a reason not to use it”
“I would totally recommend the app to other women who were in a similar position to me because you’ve got the support system as well. It’s very, very good.”HaMpton – or Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy – is a new care pathway involving the use of an app for monitoring high blood pressure at home.
- Standard care pathways for women who have high blood pressure in pregnancy require frequent hospital visits. This has significant cost implications, both to the NHS and to patients, and can cause anxiety to pregnant women.
- HaMpton has reduced the number of appointments for hypertension monitoring by 53% and also been shown to reduce the amount of time per appointment.
- HaMpton empowers women to be involved in their own care, reduces the number of hospital visits, and has achieved excellent patient and staff satisfaction.
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