Overall App Summary:
The SmartBP app is an electronic BP diary that is intended for those with borderline or high blood pressure or for those who are interested in monitoring and optimizing their heart health. It allows users a quick and simple way to manually enter in their BP/HR for data monitoring and tracking. This data may be of value for a patient self-monitoring their BP, and for their provider to help guide therapy. It allows for setting reminders, but is not very robust. The patient may use their own manual/electronic blood pressure monitoring device, but if they have a bluetooth enable device they can also sync this data with the app (indirectly, via Apple HealthKit). It does integrate with Apple HealthKit and does allow for sharing of BP measurements via Email or SMS. The user experience is not very desirable and the visual appeal of the app is low. There are advertisements within the app in the free version, but there is a paid version that is ad-free. The app is not designed for management of blood pressure and does not provide any educational information in regards to helping people live a healthy lifestyle to reduce/ optimize their blood pressure in order to lower their risk of developing heart disease.
App’s Intended Use:
The SmartBP app is developed to help patients record and monitor their inputed blood pressure measurements. This is established via self-inputed data, or data synced from peripheral devices. Data can then be displayed graphically, exported to others, or synced to Microsoft Healthvault or Apple Healthkit.
Who’s this app most useful for?
The SmartBP app is most useful for patients with a diagnosis of high blood pressure or those with borderline high blood pressure. The app is specifically aimed at users who are actively monitoring their blood pressure on a daily or weekly basis and desire a mechanism to visually track their progress. The mobile apps serves as an electronic BP log and enables users to store important BP measurements in an accessible format.
How should one use it?
People with borderline or high blood pressure and those who are interested in maintaining or optimizing their heart health should use the app for logging and tracking their blood pressure. Preferably they own a device that they can use to measure blood pressure and then self-record the data into this app, whereby they can collate the data for future sharing. The best way to use the app is to set up reminders to log blood pressure at least once daily, if not more frequently, depending on the diagnosis, and share that data with healthcare providers.
Why should anyone use this app? Is the mobile app clinically relevant?
The SmartBP is clinically relevant in that home monitoring of blood pressure is valuable for clinicians looking to help guide a patients therapy, and monitor for efficacy of any pharmacologic intervention. The app replaces the traditional paper and pen approach to logging blood pressure numbers. It provides an easy-to-use electronic way to track BP over time and easily download and share that information with others. Of note, this app serves as an electronic diary, and is not a BP management app. It does not claim to reduce blood pressure or does not have any features or functionalities that are intended to actually treat high blood pressure. Healthcare providers can, however, use information entered into the app, to better understand BP levels in the home-environment, as well as variability of BP over time. There is also the benefit of setting up ranges of blood pressure, that a clinician or patient could set so that they can see if they are falling within their ranges as desired.
Is there any published evidence that the app actually works?
This app lacks any evidence of its use in the literature, or from the developer. No evidence of any ongoing study. However, the app is not intended to be an “interventional or therapeutic” app and thus, the requirements for clinical efficacy do not really apply here.
Not FDA cleared, but exempt under Mobile Medical Applications guidance – enforcement discretion.
What is the most important/ desirable feature of the app?
The app is rather simple in appearance, with the primary feature of inputing BP/HR and personal information (age, weight, height). The data to sync or export is valuable, and rather simple. This review did not test the syncing of blood pressure via any peripheral device. The app is also developed to share data, whether via email or Microsoft Healthvault or Apple Healthkit. Lastly, the app also has the ability to sync data across multiple peripheral devices that can measure BP. Of note, the free version does have advertisements within the app, which can be quite distracting or annoying. However, there is a paid version that is ad-free.
How does it compare to other apps in this category?
Overall, the app is very similar to other apps currently on the market, though it does have a wide variety of peripheral home BP devices it can sync with, and it does integrate with Microsoft and Apples health systems.
If there’s a paid version, is it worth the upgrade?
The paid app version allows the removal of adds that will be present in the app, which for some patients may be desirable.
How is the app’s usability?
Overall easy to use, and the app does offer an initial ‘how-to’ screen that can be accessed later if the user forgets. Did not test the syncing feature of this app.