Role of POCT Devices in Hypertension Management

by | May 17, 2023

Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) is a notorious silent killer. Most people with high blood pressure usually show no symptoms and hence regular checkup is the only way to identify it at an early stage. In India, Nearly 63% of total deaths are due to non-communicable diseases, out of which 27% are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) which affects 45% of people in the 40-69 age group. High blood pressure or Hypertension is amongst the most important risk factors for CVDs like heart attack, and strokes. Moreover, it remains poorly controlled due to a lack of awareness, lack of appropriate diagnostics through primary care and poor follow-up.  

Hypertension is diagnosed when systolic blood pressure is ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure on both readings is ≥90 mmHg. Early detection, regular check-ups, adopting a healthy lifestyle and staying on prescribed treatment significantly help in hypertension maintenance and related complications.

If not treated, hypertension can even lead to death. It is recommended to screen all adults in the population ≥30 years for hypertension at least once every year. The benefits of regular check-ups and treatment help in following

  • Saving lives by preventing fatal heart attacks and strokes. 
  • Reduce disability, by preventing non-fatal heart attacks and strokes,
  • Reduce medical costs spent on the rehabilitation and nursing care needed in the aftermath of a stroke or heart attack.
  • Improving productivity and quality of life. 
  • Help in reducing the national CVD burden.

To perform population-based screening for hypertension, the Government of India has launched the Indian Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI). IHCI was launched in November 2017, with the aim of providing routine blood pressure check-ups and timely treatment to the mass population at risk at the primary healthcare level. This ultimately helped in achieving the target of a 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of hypertension (raised blood pressure) by 2025. IHCI is a multi-partner initiative of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Indian Council of Medical Research, WHO Country Office for India and Resolve to Save Lives.

The suggested Population-based screenings by IHCI are at 

  • Sub-center level by ANM (Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife)
  • Home visits for education and awareness of hypertension by ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers 
  • Mobile Medical units 
  • Training MLHPs (Mid-level health providers) to perform BP screenings. 

Hypertension diagnosis and management is simple, affordable and essential.

Our flagship product, HealthCube XL is aligned with the IHCI initiative and its guidelines to assess hypertension and other risk factors like obesity, and total cholesterol which are associated with CVD at the public healthcare level. During the screening, it is difficult for a clinician to make a decision with single-time high BP reading. While a well-maintained record with multiple BP readings can help the clinician understand the trend of blood pressure better and make an informed decision. HealthCube’s electronic health record is a robust system that allows reviewing patients’ past records instantly. The multi-parametric portable device is much more suitable for population-based screening and opportunistic screening, especially in remote areas. This device is also a great fit for Sub centers / HWC (Health & Wellness Center), Mobile medical units and home visits. HealthCube extensively supports the initiative of providing quality care at public healthcare centers. Over the last couple of years, HealthCube XL has been accepted as a product of choice by various state health ministries.  More than 1000 devices have been deployed at sub-centers, HWCs, and district-run Mobile medical units. HealthCube XL can be the device of choice to control and assess the risk factors associated with CVD including Hypertension.

The Author:

Dr. Eshani Saxena

Public Health Specialist – HealthCube