I'm an obesity medicine specialist. Patients with obesity often need different treatment modalities to address their lifelong struggle with weight regulation. As a result, we often escalate treatment beyond behavioral strategies when they prove unsuccessful.
One tool that is use to address weight is weight loss pharmacotherapy. However, several weight loss medications have the potential for increasing blood pressure and pulse rate which would preclude their use for patients with obesity. When prescribing several medications used for weighloss, it is customary for obesity medicine physicians to monitor their blood pressure and pulse on a regular basis to ensure that this treatment modality is not causing adverse affects for the patient.
At the current time, the persons that are prescribed weight loss medications are often required to send in blood pressure and pulse measurements that are obtained three times weekly for several weeks proceeding and several weeks after initiation of the weight loss drug. This is a cumbersome process for the patient to collect and send to me through a designated portal. This data also does not integrate into the EHR. This data is also difficult for me as a physician to interpret because this data is sent differently by each patient.
This also adversely affects primarily non-English speakers because explaining how to collect heart rate and blood pressure and how to send that information to me is often insurmountable in a short clinic visit.
The solution would be an in inexpensive wristband heart rate monitor and blood pressure monitor that automatically sends the right data and the right format.
Key aspects to this solution:
1) Accuracy of the heart rate and blood pressure measurements are accurate
2) Blood pressure is often difficult in obese patients because of cuff size. This technology solution would need to overcome this known difficulty.
3) Data would need to be easily transmitted, like through bluetooth in a mobile phone
4) Data would need to integrate into the EHR
5) Data would need to be easy to read
6) Interface should automatically flag abnormal data and send alerts to the responsible clinical team member
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