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AI health coach can lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension – study

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A digital, AI-driven lifestyle coaching program shows significant blood pressure reduction and high patient engagement, according to a new study. Photo: The authors / Adobe Stock

A new study shows that a fully digital, artificial intelligence (AI)–driven lifestyle coaching program can effectively reduce blood pressure (BP) in adults with hypertension.

This AI-based program leverages data from wearable activity trackers and BP monitors as well as a mobile app questionnaire to tailor lifestyle guidance.

The research team, led by Jared Leitner of the University of California, San Diego, used this innovative intervention to help manage hypertension and enhance patient engagement, offering a promising alternative to traditional coaching models.

Their findings are published in the journal JMIR Cardio.

The researchers employed a single-arm nonrandomised trial to evaluate the effects of the program’s personalised lifestyle guidance, which was delivered to 141 participants through SMS text messages and a mobile app.

Over 24 weeks, participants with stage 2 hypertension showed significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic BP. At 12 weeks, systolic BP decreased by an average of 9.6 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 5.7 mm Hg. These reductions were even more pronounced at 24 weeks, with systolic BP dropping by 14.2 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 8.1 mm Hg.

This precision coaching program led to an increase in participants achieving BP control and a decrease in participants with stage 2 hypertension. The study also highlighted high participant engagement and minimal need for manual clinician outreach. This indicates that the AI-driven approach not only enhances BP control but also substantially reduces the workload for health care providers.

“By pinpointing the top lifestyle contributors to patients’ hypertension and providing precise guidance, the AI-powered lifestyle coaching was able to maintain high patient engagement leading to improved patient outcomes,” commented Dr Leitner.

“This study demonstrates how an AI-based, autonomous approach to hypertension-related lifestyle coaching can increase scalability and accessibility to effective blood pressure management.”

This research underscores the potential for digital health innovations to transform hypertension management, providing scalable, cost-effective, and personalised care options for patients.

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